[in-fer-uhns, -fruhns]
the act or process of inferring.
something that is inferred: to make rash inferences.
the process of deriving the strict logical consequences of assumed premises.
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.
a proposition reached by a process of inference.

1585–95; < Medieval Latin inferentia. See infer, -ence

misinference, noun
preinference, noun
superinference, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
inference (ˈɪnfərəns, -frəns)
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 deduction See also induction the specific mode of reasoning used

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from M.L. inferentia, from inferentem, prp. of inferre (see infer).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Computing Dictionary

inference definition

The logical process by which new facts are derived from known facts by the application of inference rules.
See also symbolic inference, type inference.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see draw an inference.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
Idioms & Phrases
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