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noun con·jec·ture \kən-ˈjek-chər\

Simple Definition of conjecture

  • : an opinion or idea formed without proof or sufficient evidence

Full Definition of conjecture

  1. 1 obsolete a :  interpretation of omens b :  supposition

  2. 2 a :  inference from defective or presumptive evidence b :  a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork c :  a proposition (as in mathematics) before it has been proved or disproved

Examples of conjecture

  1. Whether Columbus brought syphilis to the New World—or to the Old World—has been the subject of conjecture for at least 500 years. —Carl Zimmer, Science, 11 May 2001

  2. … their voices rose in a chorus of conjecture and alarm, repeating the selfsame remark: “What is she going to do? I mean, is Betty going to faint?” —Edna O'Brien, New Yorker, 1 Jan. 1990

  3. The reason why the French with superior man-power and American resources were doing so poorly was not beyond all conjecture. —Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly, 1984

  4. Peculiar features of early maps, which may have been nothing but a draftsman's whimsy, have inspired pages of vain conjecture. —Samuel Eliot Morison, The European Discovery of America, 1971

  5. The biography includes conjectures about the writer's earliest ambitions.

  6. a conjecture about the extent of the injury

  7. Most of the book is conjecture, not fact.

Origin of conjecture

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin conjectura, from conjectus, past participle of conicere, literally, to throw together, from com- + jacere to throw — more at jet

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with conjecture



verb con·jec·ture \kən-ˈjek-chər\

Simple Definition of conjecture

  • : to form an opinion or idea without proof or sufficient evidence

Full Definition of conjecture

con·jec·turedcon·jec·tur·ing play \-ˈjek-chə-riŋ, -ˈjek-shriŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to arrive at or deduce by surmise or guesswork :  guess <scientists conjecturing that a disease is caused by a defective gene>

  3. 2 :  to make conjectures (see 1conjecture)as to <conjecture the meaning of a statement>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to form conjectures(see 1conjecture)

con·jec·tur·er play \-ˈjek-chər-ər\ noun

Examples of conjecture

  1. It is fashionable now to conjecture that the Big Bang was caused by a random quantum fluctuation in a vacuum devoid of space and time. —Martin Gardner, Skeptical Inquirer, November/December 1998

  2. … their traces left for future archaeologists to rediscover and perhaps to wonder or conjecture over. —Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, 1984

  3. I am anxious to conjecture beforehand what may be expected from the sowing turneps [sic] in jaded ground, how much from the acre, & how large they will be? —Thomas Jefferson, letter, 29 Dec. 1794

  4. Despairing of assistance and protection from below (as they foolishly conjecture) they talk of capitulating and coming upon terms with the French and Indians … —George Washington, 24 Apr. 1776, in The Papers of George Washington, 1984

  5. Some have conjectured that the distant planet could sustain life.

  6. We only conjecture about his motives.

Origin of conjecture

(see 1conjecture)

First Known Use: 15th century

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February 11, 2016

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