Check out new words added to


[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.
Cite This Source
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


/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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with inference


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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for inference

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for inference

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with inference

Nearby words for inference