From Middle English gessen, probably of North Germanic origin, from Old Danish getse, gitse, getsa (“to guess”), from Old Norse *getsa, *gitsa, from Proto-Germanic *gitisōną (“to guess”), from Proto-Germanic *getaną (“to get”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰed- (“to take, seize”). Cognate with Danish gisse (“to guess”), Norwegian gissa, gjette (“to guess”), Swedish gissa (“to guess”), Saterland Frisian gisje (“to guess”), Dutch gissen (“to guess”), Low German gissen (“to guess”). Related also to Icelandic giska ("to guess"; from Proto-Germanic *gitiskōną). Compare also Russian гада́ть (gadátʹ, “to conjecture, guess, divine”), Albanian gjëzë (“riddle”) from gjej (“find, recover, obtain”). More at get.
- To reach a partly (or totally) unqualified conclusion.
- To solve by a correct conjecture; to conjecture rightly.
- He who guesses the riddle shall have the ring.
- (chiefly US) to suppose (introducing a proposition of uncertain plausibility).
- That album is quite hard to find, but I guess you could try ordering it online.
- c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i]:
- Not all together; better far, I guess, / That we do make our entrance several ways.
- 1714, Alexander Pope, Imitations of Horace
- But in known images of life I guess / The labour greater.
- (colloquial) To think, conclude, or decide (without a connotation of uncertainty). Usually in first person: "I guess".
- "I guess you were right." "What did he say?" "He guesses you were right."
- "I guess I'll go to bed."
- (obsolete) To hit upon or reproduce by memory.
- c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
- Tell me their words, as near as thou canst guess them.
guess (plural guesses)
- A prediction about the outcome of something, typically made without factual evidence or support.
- If you don't know the answer, take a guess.
- 1907, L. Frank Baum, Ozma of Oz:
- "But I shall have eleven guesses," answered Ozma. "Surely I ought to guess one object in eleven correctly; and, if I do, I shall rescue one of the royal family and be safe myself. Then the rest of you may attempt it, and soon we shall free all those who are enslaved."
- guess in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- guess in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.