Inference vs Estimate - What's the difference?

inference | estimate |

As nouns the difference between inference and estimate

is that inference is inference while estimate is a rough calculation or guess.

As a verb estimate is

to calculate roughly, often from imperfect data.



  • (uncountable) The act or process of inferring by deduction or induction.
  • (countable) That which is inferred; a truth or proposition drawn from another which is admitted or supposed to be true; a conclusion; a deduction.
  • Derived terms

    * deductive inference * inductive inference * statistical inference



    Alternative forms

    * (archaic)


    (en noun)
  • A rough calculation or guess.
  • (construction and business) A document (or verbal notification) specifying how much a job will probably cost.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1928, author=Lawrence R. Bourne
  • , title=Well Tackled! , chapter=3 citation , passage=“They know our boats will stand up to their work,” said Willison, “and that counts for a good deal. A low estimate from us doesn't mean scamped work, but just that we want to keep the yard busy over a slack time.”}}


    * estimation * appraisal

    Derived terms

    * ballpark estimate


  • To calculate roughly, often from imperfect data.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1965, author=Ian Hacking, title=Logic of Statistical Inference, passage=I estimate that I need 400 board feet of lumber to complete a job, and then order 350 because I do not want a surplus, or perhaps order 450 because I do not want to make any subsequent orders.
  • citation
  • * '>citation
  • To judge and form an opinion of the value of, from imperfect data.
  • * John Locke
  • It is by the weight of silver, and not the name of the piece, that men estimate commodities and exchange them.
  • * J. C. Shairp
  • It is always very difficult to estimate the age in which you are living.


    * appraise * guess

    Derived terms

    * estimable * underestimate * overestimate