Definition of inference in US English:

inference

noun

  • 1A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

    • ‘For a long time I have thought that I was a statistician, interested in inferences from the particular to the general.’
    • ‘The drawing of inferences from silence is a particularly sensitive area.’
    • ‘In the courts below there was some judicial difference of opinion as to the inferences which should be drawn from the evidence.’
    • ‘There is no place in the criminal justice system for conclusions based upon inferences.’
    • ‘The preceding chapters have given us at least some feel for which inferences are deductively valid, and why.’
    • ‘It is not a matter involving any findings of credibility or a matter depending upon the drawing of inferences.’
    • ‘But to overlook the hard data is not to abolish them, and the inferences are not removed by being unacknowledged.’
    • ‘When Hume argues that immediate inductive inferences are not valid, he seems to mean that they are not deductively valid.’
    • ‘Many of our inferences to unobserved occurrences depend upon this postulate.’
    • ‘If we didn't generally jump to conclusions, we wouldn't make most of the inferences that need to be made.’
    • ‘Where is the scientific evidence for alternative inferences, more reliable than we now have?’
    • ‘Now, if reason generates only judgements about the world and inferences therefrom, it is hard to see how it can be a motive to act.’
    • ‘He then gave the standard direction as to the drawing of inferences generally.’
    • ‘It is for the jury in a criminal trial to draw inferences from the evidence as the trier of fact, not the witness.’
    • ‘The idea behind deductivism is to ignore the interpretation and stick to the inferences.’
    • ‘They held that the failure of the doctor to give evidence permitted inferences to be drawn against him.’
    • ‘All of the evidence is circumstantial and requires the drawing of inferences.’
    • ‘In which case it remains unreasonable to base inductive inferences on evidence described in those terms.’
    • ‘I do not find this very significant as the interpretations and inferences appear reasonable.’
    • ‘The prosecution invite you to draw inferences from the telephone evidence.’
    deduction, conclusion, reasoning, conjecture, speculation, surmise, thesis, theorizing, hypothesizing, presumption, assumption, supposition, reckoning, extrapolation, reading between the lines
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    1. 1.1 The process of inferring something.
      ‘his emphasis on order and health, and by inference cleanliness’
      • ‘But general propositions cannot be known by inference from atomic facts alone.’
      • ‘He has carried out research work in the areas of reliability modelling and bayesian inference.’
      • ‘You would expect, by inference, that hotels should be adversely affected also.’
      • ‘In a Hilbert system, for example, we have a number of axioms and rules of inference.’
      • ‘So by inference just as there will be many companies that outperform the market there are also many that will fare less well.’
      • ‘We have a case of actual expectation by inference from the correspondence.’
      • ‘A change of meaning is not to be inferred simply by inference from other clauses, even if they are new.’
      • ‘By inference he could be accused of taking on board the views expressed at meetings.’
      • ‘In this sense, the method can be viewed as a Bayesian method for paternity inference.’
      • ‘Either the facts justifying such inference exist or they do not, but only the Tribunal can say what those facts are.’
      • ‘We respectfully disagree with the Judge in so far as he was relying on the pleaded representations by inference.’
      • ‘No such retainer is alleged by the claimants and PW are not in a position to prove any such retainer, except by inference.’
      • ‘This use of intelligent inference effectively enhanced his vision.’
      • ‘I couldn't hear what she was saying but it had to be - by inference - that she loves him too.’
      • ‘She said Rico was displaying a kind of learning by inference that is called fast mapping.’
      • ‘But is it not fair to say the judge has put his processes of inference into suspension?’
      • ‘We know, or think we know, by inference, that he has been in a psychiatric institution, but no more.’
      • ‘Nothing more need be added because, by inference, nothing could be more sublime.’
      • ‘It became fairly clear, by inference, that the sort of people who bought the clothes she sold were not her sort of people.’
      • ‘The defence had no knowledge of what his account was and it was clear by inference that he was unwilling to talk to them.’

Origin

Late 16th century: from medieval Latin inferentia, from inferent- ‘bringing in’, from the verb inferre (see infer).

Pronunciation

inference

/ˈinf(ə)rəns//ˈɪnf(ə)rəns/