Definition of inference in US English:

inference

noun

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

    • ‘If we didn't generally jump to conclusions, we wouldn't make most of the inferences that need to be made.’
    • ‘It is for the jury in a criminal trial to draw inferences from the evidence as the trier of fact, not the witness.’
    • ‘The prosecution invite you to draw inferences from the telephone evidence.’
    • ‘It is not a matter involving any findings of credibility or a matter depending upon the drawing of inferences.’
    • ‘He then gave the standard direction as to the drawing of inferences generally.’
    • ‘In the courts below there was some judicial difference of opinion as to the inferences which should be drawn from the evidence.’
    • ‘For a long time I have thought that I was a statistician, interested in inferences from the particular to the general.’
    • ‘The idea behind deductivism is to ignore the interpretation and stick to the inferences.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The preceding chapters have given us at least some feel for which inferences are deductively valid, and why.’
    • ‘Where is the scientific evidence for alternative inferences, more reliable than we now have?’
    • ‘The drawing of inferences from silence is a particularly sensitive area.’
    • ‘In which case it remains unreasonable to base inductive inferences on evidence described in those terms.’
    • ‘There is no place in the criminal justice system for conclusions based upon inferences.’
    • ‘When Hume argues that immediate inductive inferences are not valid, he seems to mean that they are not deductively valid.’
    • ‘But to overlook the hard data is not to abolish them, and the inferences are not removed by being unacknowledged.’
    • ‘I do not find this very significant as the interpretations and inferences appear reasonable.’
    • ‘All of the evidence is circumstantial and requires the drawing of inferences.’
    • ‘Many of our inferences to unobserved occurrences depend upon this postulate.’
    • ‘They held that the failure of the doctor to give evidence permitted inferences to be drawn against him.’
    deduction, conclusion, reasoning, conjecture, speculation, surmise, thesis, theorizing, hypothesizing, presumption, assumption, supposition, reckoning, extrapolation, reading between the lines
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The process of inferring something.
      ‘his emphasis on order and health, and by inference cleanliness’
      • ‘He has carried out research work in the areas of reliability modelling and bayesian inference.’
      • ‘But general propositions cannot be known by inference from atomic facts alone.’
      • ‘In a Hilbert system, for example, we have a number of axioms and rules of inference.’
      • ‘I couldn't hear what she was saying but it had to be - by inference - that she loves him too.’
      • ‘Either the facts justifying such inference exist or they do not, but only the Tribunal can say what those facts are.’
      • ‘A change of meaning is not to be inferred simply by inference from other clauses, even if they are new.’
      • ‘You would expect, by inference, that hotels should be adversely affected also.’
      • ‘But is it not fair to say the judge has put his processes of inference into suspension?’
      • ‘By inference he could be accused of taking on board the views expressed at meetings.’
      • ‘No such retainer is alleged by the claimants and PW are not in a position to prove any such retainer, except by inference.’
      • ‘We have a case of actual expectation by inference from the correspondence.’
      • ‘In this sense, the method can be viewed as a Bayesian method for paternity inference.’
      • ‘This use of intelligent inference effectively enhanced his vision.’
      • ‘She said Rico was displaying a kind of learning by inference that is called fast mapping.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We respectfully disagree with the Judge in so far as he was relying on the pleaded representations by inference.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So by inference just as there will be many companies that outperform the market there are also many that will fare less well.’

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/