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[v. ser-mahyz; n. ser-mahyz, sur-mahyz] /v. sərˈmaɪz; n. sərˈmaɪz, ˈsɜr maɪz/
verb (used with object), surmised, surmising.
to think or infer without certain or strong evidence; conjecture; guess.
verb (used without object), surmised, surmising.
to conjecture or guess.
a matter of conjecture.
an idea or thought of something as being possible or likely.
a conjecture or opinion.
1350-1400; Middle English surmisen < Anglo-French surmis(e), Middle French (past participle of surmettre to accuse < Latin supermittere to throw upon), equivalent to sur- sur-1 + mis (masculine), mise (feminine) < Latin missus, missa, equivalent to mit(tere) to send + -tus, -ta past participle suffix
Related forms
surmisable, adjective
[ser-mahyzd-lee, -mahy-zid-] /sərˈmaɪzd li, -ˈmaɪ zɪd-/ (Show IPA),
surmiser, noun
unsurmised, adjective
unsurmising, adjective
1. imagine, suppose, suspect. See guess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for surmised
  • Researchers surmised that because yes-or-no responses are easy, kids were willing to respond.
  • It's surmised that they ascend slowly to the surface to avoid getting the bends.
  • Gallbladder trouble, the physician surmised after a quick examination.
  • His reason is not known, but it is surmised he was in financial difficulties.
  • In a sense, similar to the trend of late of rebooting franchises it can be surmised that now this franchise too has been rebooted.
  • The detective said he surmised there was a gun at the end of that arm.
  • As might be surmised from such side-street launching, neither is anything to write home about.
  • The ray, it was surmised, must strike the object directly before it can be seen.
  • Some who were let in later surmised that he wanted to teach them a lesson.
  • And someday, he surmised, it might be cheaper for scientists to synthesize simple organisms than to grow them.
British Dictionary definitions for surmised


verb (sɜːˈmaɪz)
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to infer (something) from incomplete or uncertain evidence
noun (sɜːˈmaɪz; ˈsɜːmaɪz)
an idea inferred from inconclusive evidence
Derived Forms
surmisable, adjective
surmiser, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, from surmettre to accuse, from Latin supermittere to throw over, from super- + mittere to send
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 surmised



c.1400, "to charge, allege," from Old French surmis, past participle of surmettre "to accuse," from sur- "upon" (see sur-) + mettre "put," from Latin mittere "to send" (see mission). Meaning "to infer conjecturally" is recorded from 1700. Related: Surmised; surmising.


early 15c., legal, "a charge, a formal accusation;" see surmise (v.). Meaning "inference, guess" is first found in English 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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