Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

imply

play
verb im·ply \im-ˈplī\

Simple Definition of imply

  • : to express (something) in an indirect way : to suggest (something) without saying or showing it plainly

  • : to include or involve (something) as a natural or necessary part or result

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of imply

implied

implying

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 obsolete :  enfold, entwine

  3. 2 :  to involve or indicate by inference, association, or necessary consequence rather than by direct statement <rights imply obligations>

  4. 3 :  to contain potentially

  5. 4 :  to express indirectly <his silence implied consent>

Usage Discussion of imply

See Usage Discussion at infer


Examples of imply in a sentence

  1. Early reports implied that the judge's death was not an accident.

  2. His words implied a threat.

  3. War implies fighting and death.



Origin and Etymology of imply

Middle English emplien, from Anglo-French emplier to entangle — more at employ


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of imply

suggest, imply, hint, intimate, insinuate mean to convey an idea indirectly. suggest may stress putting into the mind by association of ideas, awakening of a desire, or initiating a train of thought <a film title that suggests its subject matter>. imply is close to suggest but may indicate a more definite or logical relation of the unexpressed idea to the expressed <measures implying that bankruptcy was imminent>. hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement <hinted that she might get the job>. intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor <intimates that there is more to the situation than meets the eye>. insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner <insinuated that there were shady dealings>.

IMPLY Defined for Kids

imply

play
verb im·ply \im-ˈplī\

Definition of imply for Students

implied

implying

  1. :  to express indirectly :  suggest rather than say plainly <Your remark implies that I am wrong.>




Law Dictionary

imply

play
transitive verb im·ply \im-ˈplī\

Legal Definition of imply

implied

implying

  1. 1 :  to recognize as existing by inference or necessary consequence especially on legal or equitable grounds <in ordinary circumstances…the law would imply that it was the duty of the hospital to use due care — Haase v. Starnes, 915 S.W.2d 675 (1996)>

  2. 2 :  to make known indirectly





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up imply? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

at a gallop

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accommodate acommadate accomodate acommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ