1

conjecture

play
noun con·jec·ture \ kən-ˈjek-chər \

Definition of conjecture

1 obsolete
a :interpretation of omens
2 a :inference formed without proof or sufficient evidence
b :a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork
  • The criminal's motive remains a matter of conjecture.
c :a proposition (as in mathematics) before it has been proved or disproved

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Examples of conjecture in a Sentence

  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 ZimmerScience11 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'BrienNew Yorker1 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. TuchmanThe March of Folly1984
  4. Peculiar features of early maps, which may have been nothing but a draftsman's whimsy, have inspired pages of vain conjecture. —Samuel Eliot MorisonThe European Discovery of America1971
  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.

Recent Examples of conjecture from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conjecture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology 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

conjecture Synonyms


2

conjecture

play
verb con·jec·ture \ kən-ˈjek-chər \

Definition of conjecture

conjectured; conjecturing play \kən-ˈjek-chə-riŋ, -ˈjek-shriŋ\
transitive verb
1 :to arrive at or deduce by surmise or guesswork :guess
  • scientists conjecturing that a disease is caused by a defective gene
2 :to make conjectures as to
  • conjecture the meaning of a statement
intransitive verb
:to form conjectures

conjecturer

play \kən-ˈjek-chər-ər\ noun

Examples of conjecture in a Sentence

  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 GardnerSkeptical InquirerNovember/December 1998
  2. 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 Washington1984
  3. … their traces left for future archaeologists to rediscover and perhaps to wonder or conjecture over. —Jane JacobsCities and the Wealth of Nations1984
  4. 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 Jeffersonletter29 Dec. 1794
  5. Some have conjectured that the distant planet could sustain life.

  6. We only conjecture about his motives.

Recent Examples of conjecture from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conjecture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

When the noun "conjecture" entered English in the 14th century, it referred to the act of interpreting signs or omens (as for making prognostications). That sense is now obsolete, but by the 16th century both the noun and verb "conjecture" had acquired the meanings of speculation and inference that we use today. "Conjecture" derived via Middle English and Middle French from the Latin verb conicere ("to throw together"), a combination of "com-" ("together") and "jacere" ("to throw").

Origin and Etymology of conjecture

conjecture Synonyms



CONJECTURE Defined for English Language Learners

conjecture

play
noun

Definition of conjecture for English Language Learners

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


conjecture

play
verb

Definition of conjecture for English Language Learners

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


CONJECTURE Defined for Kids

1

conjecture

play
noun con·jec·ture \ kən-ˈjek-chər \

Definition of conjecture for Students


2

conjecture

verb

Definition of conjecture for Students

conjectured; conjecturing


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