From Latin illātiō (logical inference, deduction, conclusion), from illātus, perfect passive participle of inferō (carry or bring into somewhere; conclude), from in + ferō (bear, carry; suffer).



illation (countable and uncountable, plural illations)

  1. The act of inferring or concluding, especially from a set of premises; a conclusion, a deduction.
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, I.2:
      Now herein there seems to be a very erroneous Illation: from the Indulgence of God unto Cain, concluding an immunity unto himself []
    • 1690, John Locke, An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding:
      it so orders the intermediate Ideas, as to discover what Connection there is in each Link of the Chain, whereby the Extreams are held together; and thereby, as it were, to draw into View the Truth sought for, which is what we call Illation or Inference []
    • 1974, Guy Davenport, Tatlin!:
      Adriaan moved to Pierce’s American illation whereby an if begets a therefore, event by event, the javelin’s flight issuing from the web of contingencies in which we may locate the javelin and the javelineer []