verb -fers, -ferring, -ferred when tr, may take a clause as object
- to conclude (a state of affairs, supposition, etc) by reasoning from evidence; deduce
- tr to have or lead to as a necessary or logical consequence; indicate
- tr to hint or imply
Derived Formsinˈferable, inˈferible, inˈferrable, inˈferrible adjective
The use of infer to mean imply is becoming more and more common in both speech and writing. There is nevertheless
a useful distinction between the two which many people would be in favour of maintaining.
To infer means `to deduce', and is used in the construction to infer something from something: I inferred from what she said that she had not been well. To imply (sense 1) means `to suggest, to insinuate' and is normally followed by a clause:
are you implying that I was responsible for the mistake?
Word Origin C16: from Latin inferre to bring into, from ferre to bear, carry