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infer definition

Overview

This page has 5 definitions of infer in English and Latin. Infer is a verb. Also define these 17 related words and terms: conclusion, conclude, reason, deduction, premise, evidence, lead, consequence, imply, sonnent, cause, inflict, upon, to, introduce, bring in, and infero.

English infer definition

Etymology

From Latin inferō, from Latin in- (in, at, on; into) + Latin ferō (bear, carry; suffer) (cognate to Old English beran, whence English bear), from Proto-Italic *ferō, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰéreti (to bear, carry), from the root *bʰer-. Literally “carry forward”, equivalent to “bear in”, as in concluding from a premise.

Pronunciation

Verb

infer (third-person singular simple present infers, present participle inferring, simple past and past participle inferred)

  1. (transitive) To introduce (something) as a reasoned conclusion; to conclude by reasoning or deduction, as from premises or evidence. [from 16th c.]
    • 2010, "Keep calm, but don't carry on", The Economist, 7 Oct 2010:
      It is dangerous to infer too much from martial bluster in British politics: at the first hint of trouble, channelling Churchill is a default tactic for beleaguered leaders of all sorts.
  2. (transitive) To lead to (something) as a consequence; to imply. (Now often considered incorrect, especially with a person as subject.) [from 16th c.]
    • Consequence definition
      That which follows something on which it depends; that which is produced by a cause. (1 of 7 consequence definitions)
    • Sonnent definition
      third-person plural present indicative of sonner (1 of 2 sonnent definitions)
  3. (obsolete) To cause, inflict (something) upon or to someone. [16th-18th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.8:
      faire Serena [] fled fast away, afeard / Of villany to be to her inferd [].
  4. (obsolete) To introduce (a subject) in speaking, writing etc.; to bring in. [16th–18th c.]

Usage notes

There are two ways in which the word "infer" is sometimes used as if it meant "imply". "Implication" is done by a person when making a "statement", whereas "inference" is done to a proposition after it had already been made or assumed. Secondly, the word "infer" can sometimes be used to mean "allude" or "express" in a suggestive manner rather than as a direct "statement". Using the word "infer" in this sense is now generally considered incorrect. [1] [2]

Synonyms

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Anagrams


Latin infer definition

Pronunciation

Verb

īnfer

  1. second-person singular present active imperative of īnferō
    • Infero definition
      hell (place where damned souls are eternally punished)

References

  • infer in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879
  • infer in Gaffiot, Félix, Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette, 1934