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Inference definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

IN'FERENCE, n. A truth or proposition drawn from another which is admitted or supposed to be true; a conclusion. Inferences result from reasoning, as when the mind perceives such a connection between ideas, as that, if certain propositions called premises are true, the conclusions or propositions deduced from them must also be true.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: the reasoning involved in drawing a conclusion or making a logical judgment on the basis of circumstantial evidence and prior conclusions rather than on the basis of direct observation [syn: inference, illation]

Merriam Webster's

noun Date: 1594 1. the act or process of inferring: as a. the act of passing from one proposition, statement, or judgment considered as true to another whose truth is believed to follow from that of the former b. the act of passing from statistical sample data to generalizations (as of the value of population parameters) usually with calculated degrees of certainty 2. something that is inferred; especially a proposition arrived at by inference 3. the premises and conclusion of a process of inferring

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 the act or an instance of inferring. 2 Logic a the forming of a conclusion from premisses. b a thing inferred. Derivatives: inferential adj. inferentially adv. Etymology: med.L inferentia (as INFER)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Inference In"fer*ence, n. [From Infer.] 1. The act or process of inferring by deduction or induction. Though it may chance to be right in the conclusions, it is yet unjust and mistaken in the method of inference. --Glanvill. 2. That which inferred; a truth or proposition drawn from another which is admitted or supposed to be true; a conclusion; a deduction. --Milton. These inferences, or conclusions, are the effects of reasoning, and the three propositions, taken all together, are called syllogism, or argument. --I. Watts. Syn: Conclusion; deduction; consequence. Usage: Inference, Conclusion. An inference is literally that which is brought in; and hence, a deduction or induction from premises, -- something which follows as certainly or probably true. A conclusion is stronger than an inference; it shuts us up to the result, and terminates inquiry. We infer what is particular or probable; we conclude what is certain. In a chain of reasoning we have many inferences, which lead to the ultimate conclusion. ``An inference is a proposition which is perceived to be true, because of its connection with some known fact.'' ``When something is simply affirmed to be true, it is called a proposition; after it has been found to be true by several reasons or arguments, it is called a conclusion.'' --I. Taylor.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(inferences) 1. An inference is a conclusion that you draw about something by using information that you already have about it. There were two inferences to be drawn from her letter. = conclusion N-COUNT 2. Inference is the act of drawing conclusions about something on the basis of information that you already have. It had an extremely tiny head and, by inference, a tiny brain.

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Conclusion, deduction, consequence, corollary. 2. Process of reasoning, process of inference. 3. Generalization, induction.

Moby Thesaurus

Baconian method, a fortiori reasoning, a posteriori reasoning, a priori reasoning, allegory, allusion, analysis, arcane meaning, assumption, axiom, coloration, conclusion, conjecture, connotation, consequence, consequent, corollary, deduction, deductive reasoning, derivation, epagoge, generalization, guess, guessing, guesswork, hint, hypothesis, hypothesis and verification, illation, implication, implied meaning, import, induction, inductive reasoning, innuendo, intimation, ironic suggestion, judgment, meaning, metaphorical sense, nuance, occult meaning, overtone, particularization, philosophical induction, postulate, postulation, postulatum, premise, presumption, presupposal, presupposition, proposition, ratiocination, reckoning, sequitur, set of postulates, subsense, subsidiary sense, suggestion, supposal, supposing, supposition, surmise, syllogism, syllogistic reasoning, symbolism, synthesis, thesis, tinge, touch, undercurrent, undermeaning, understanding, undertone, working hypothesis

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