Often confused with imply, to infer is to draw a conclusion from some sort of context clue. To imply is to supply the context clue, or simply tacitly suggest.

In*fer" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Inferred (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Inferring.] [L. inferre to bring into, bring forward, occasion, infer; pref. in- in + ferre to carry, bring: cf. F. inf'erer. See 1 st Bear.]

1.

To bring on; to induce; to occasion.

[Obs.]

Harvey.

2.

To offer, as violence.

[Obs.]

Spenser.

3.

To bring forward, or employ as an argument; to adduce; to allege; to offer.

[Obs.]

Full well hath Clifford played the orator, Inferring arguments of mighty force. Shak.

4.

To derive by deduction or by induction; to conclude or surmise from facts or premises; to accept or derive, as a consequence, conclusion, or probability; to imply; as, I inferred his determination from his silence.

To infer is nothing but by virtue of one proposition laid down as true, to draw in another as true. Locke.

Such opportunities always infer obligations. Atterbury.

5.

To show; to manifest; to prove.

[Obs.]

The first part is not the proof of the second, but rather contrariwise, the second inferreth well the first. Sir T. More.

This doth infer the zeal I had to see him. Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.

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