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[kuh n-jek-cher] /kənˈdʒɛk tʃər/
the formation or expression of an opinion or theory without sufficient evidence for proof.
an opinion or theory so formed or expressed; guess; speculation.
Obsolete. the interpretation of signs or omens.
verb (used with object), conjectured, conjecturing.
to conclude or suppose from grounds or evidence insufficient to ensure reliability.
verb (used without object), conjectured, conjecturing.
to form conjectures.
Origin of conjecture
1350-1400; (noun) Middle English < Latin conjectūra (< Middle French) inferring, reasoning, equivalent to conject(us) past participle of conjicere to throw together, form a conclusion (con- con- + -jicere, combining form of jacere to throw) + -ūra -ure; (v.) late Middle English conjecturen (< Middle French) < Late Latin conjecturāre, derivative of the noun
Related forms
conjecturable, adjective
conjecturably, adverb
conjecturer, noun
misconjecture, verb, misconjectured, misconjecturing; noun
nonconjecturable, adjective
nonconjecturably, adverb
preconjecture, verb (used with object), preconjectured, preconjecturing.
unconjecturable, adjective
unconjectured, adjective
2. surmise, inference, supposition, theory, hypothesis. 4. surmise, suppose, presume. See guess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conjecture
  • Quantum chromodynamics is entirely built on inference, conjecture and speculation.
  • Such claims are an obfuscating amalgam of theory and conjecture, reality and fantasy, nonfiction and science fiction.
  • However it must not be based on mere conjecture or speculation.
  • conjecture is inevitable: big shot may have been based on big gun, with a little help from the once popular big noise.
  • Exactly what role the atomic bomb played will always allow some scope for conjecture.
  • There was some conjecture as to fitness, but the experiment was tried.
  • There is, of course, a lot of evidence for the first part of this conjecture.
  • How far this will extend must at present be a matter of conjecture.
  • Their basic conjecture is that life is an emergent phenomena that occurs in systems that are far out of equilibrium.
  • The original conjecture remains no matter what form you are in.
British Dictionary definitions for conjecture


the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence; guess
the inference or conclusion so formed
(obsolete) interpretation of occult signs
to infer or arrive at (an opinion, conclusion, etc) from incomplete evidence
Derived Forms
conjecturable, adjective
conjecturably, adverb
conjecturer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin conjectūra an assembling of facts, from conjicere to throw together, from jacere to throw
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 conjecture

late 14c., "interpretation of signs and omens," from Old French conjecture "surmise, guess," or directly from Latin coniectura "conclusion, interpretation, guess, inference," literally "a casting together (of facts, etc.)," from coniectus, past participle of conicere "to throw together," from com- "together" (see com-) + iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Sense of "forming of opinion without proof" is 1530s.


early 15c., from conjecture (n.). In Middle English also with a parallel conjecte (n.), conjecten (v.). Related: Conjectured; conjecturing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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