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[in-fer-uh ns, -fruh ns] /ˈɪn fər əns, -frəns/
the act or process of inferring.
something that is inferred:
to make rash inferences.
  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 of inference
1585-95; < Medieval Latin inferentia. See infer, -ence
Related forms
misinference, noun
preinference, noun
superinference, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inference
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The inference, on the broad principle, is that she stole it.

  • I knew not what the inference would be, if I said they were not.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • This inference may be objected to on account of the supposed anachronism, respecting which we shall make a short digression.

    Religion In The Heavens Logan Mitchell
  • The inference is that he was imported from abroad for the purpose of committing this outrage.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • Burrell made the best reply he could, without confirming or denying the inference drawn from his early rising.

    The Buccaneer Mrs. S. C. Hall
British Dictionary definitions for inference


/ˈɪnfərəns; -frəns/
the act or process of inferring
an inferred conclusion, deduction, etc
any process of reasoning from premises to a conclusion
(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

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
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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Idioms and Phrases with inference


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