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inference

[in-fer-uh ns, -fruh ns] /ˈɪn fər əns, -frəns/
noun
1.
the act or process of inferring.
2.
something that is inferred:
to make rash inferences.
3.
Logic.
  1. the process of deriving the strict logical consequences of assumed premises.
  2. the process of arriving at some conclusion that, though it is not logically derivable from the assumed premises, possesses some degree of probability relative to the premises.
  3. a proposition reached by a process of inference.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; < Medieval Latin inferentia. See infer, -ence
Related forms
misinference, noun
preinference, noun
superinference, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for inference
  • The proper inference from our work is not that one group is more enlightened, or less.
  • The inference was that the little missile would soon be fired.
  • Invite volunteers to share the writer's words, what they added from prior knowledge, and the inference they drew.
  • My inference would be that your letters of reference have also arrived.
  • The nature of statistical inference is such that results must be accompanied by measures of variation.
  • Coming in at the time he did, this was a reasonable inference on his part, but he was still mistakenly targeting the wrong guy.
  • Intelligent design is an argument by inference, and the example that proponents dote upon is the bacterial flagellum.
  • Unfortunately the question remains more a matter of inference than of open exploration.
  • The final text was constructed, word by word, from the extant manuscripts and by inference from the lost manuscripts.
  • These can include an automatic negative inference about the missing information, dismissal of the case, or heavy fines.
British Dictionary definitions for inference

inference

/ˈɪnfərəns; -frəns/
noun
1.
the act or process of inferring
2.
an inferred conclusion, deduction, etc
3.
any process of reasoning from premises to a conclusion
4.
(logic) the specific mode of reasoning used See also deduction (sense 4), induction (sense 4)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inference
n.

1590s, from Medieval Latin inferentia, from Latin inferentem (nominative inferens), present participle of inferre (see infer).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inference in Culture

inference definition


In logic, the deriving of one idea from another. Inference can proceed through either induction or deduction.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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inference in Technology
logic
The logical process by which new facts are derived from known facts by the application of inference rules.
See also symbolic inference, type inference.
(1995-03-20)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Idioms and Phrases with inference

inference

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for inference

in logic, derivation of conclusions from given information or premises by any acceptable form of reasoning. Inferences are commonly drawn (1) by deduction, which, by analyzing valid argument forms, draws out the conclusions implicit in their premises, (2) by induction, which argues from many instances to a general statement, (3) by probability, which passes from frequencies within a known domain to conclusions of stated likelihood, and (4) by statistical reasoning, which concludes that, on the average, a certain percentage of a set of entities will satisfy the stated conditions. See also deduction; implication.

Learn more about inference with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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