(of a proposition) to have as a necessary consequence
(of a person) to suggest by logical inference
- The proposition that "all dogs are mammals" implies that my dog is a mammal
(of a person or proposition) to hint; to insinuate; to suggest tacitly and avoid a direct statement
- When I state that your dog is brown, I am not implying that all dogs are brown
(archaic) to enfold, entangle.
* 1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , I.iv:
- What do you mean "we need to be more careful with hygiene"? Are you implying that I don't wash my hands?
- And in his bosome secretly there lay / An hatefull Snake, the which his taile vptyes / In many folds, and mortall sting implyes .
* This is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (-ing) . See
* (to have as a necessary consequence) entail
* (to suggest tacitly) allude, hint, insinuate, suggest
To introduce (something) as a reasoned conclusion; to conclude by reasoning or deduction, as from premises or evidence.
* 2010 , "Keep calm, but don't carry on", The Economist , 7 Oct 2010:
To lead to (something) as a consequence; to imply. (Now often considered incorrect, especially with a person as subject.)
- 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.
- These and a thousand like propositions, which concurre in this purpose, do evidently inferre .
* Sir Thomas More
- This doth infer the zeal I had to see him.
(obsolete) To cause, inflict (something) (upon) or (to) someone.
* 1596 , (Edmund Spenser), The Faerie Queene , VI.8:
- The first part is not the proof of the second, but rather contrariwise, the second inferreth well the first.
(obsolete) To introduce (a subject) in speaking, writing etc.; to bring in.
- faire Serena.
- Full well hath Clifford played the orator, / Inferring arguments of mighty force.
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.
* assume, conclude, deduce, construe