Last modified on 24 August 2014, at 22:07

infer

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin inferō.

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)

VerbEdit

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

  1. (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 […].
  2. (obsolete) To introduce (a subject) in speaking, writing etc.; to bring in. [16th–18th c.]
    • Shakespeare
      Full well hath Clifford played the orator, / Inferring arguments of mighty force.
  3. (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.
  4. (transitive) To lead to (something) as a consequence; to imply. (Now often considered incorrect, especially with a person as subject.) [from 16th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.3:
      These and a thousand like propositions, which concurre in this purpose, do evidently inferre [transl. sonnent] some thing beyond patient expecting of death it selfe to be suffered in this life [...].
  5. (obsolete) To show; to manifest; to prove.
    • Shakespeare
      This doth infer the zeal I had to see him.
    • Sir Thomas More
      The first part is not the proof of the second, but rather contrariwise, the second inferreth well the first.

Usage notesEdit

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]

SynonymsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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AnagramsEdit


LatinEdit

VerbEdit

īnfer

  1. second-person singular present active imperative of īnferō