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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for inferences
  • Bergen now drew some good inferences and found the only winning play.
  • There are many useful inferences that might be drawn from this research.
  • Model how to make inferences to complete the first item.
  • One cannot make any broader inferences about unbound object density based on that paper, one way or the other.
  • There are inferences to be drawn when the bidding takes an unexpected turn.
  • And scientists are no better at drawing inferences than anyone else.
  • What is truly astonishing is that from the map you can also make some inferences about cultural proximity.
  • Journal entry about the use of inferences from maps to make judgments.
  • All of the evidence for the existence of dark matter both observational and experimental is based on indirect inferences.
  • They can also be used to learn and practice valuable reading skills, such as making inferences and recognizing symbols.
British Dictionary definitions for inferences


/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 inferences



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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inferences 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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Idioms and Phrases with inferences


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 inferences


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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