im·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ˌim-plə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of implication 

1a : the act of implicating (see implicate) : the state of being implicated

b : close connection especially : an incriminating involvement

2a : the act of implying : the state of being implied

b(1) : a logical relation between two propositions that fails to hold only if the first is true and the second is false — see Truth Table

(2) : a logical relationship between two propositions in which if the first is true the second is true

(3) : a statement exhibiting a relation of implication

3 : something implied: such as

a : suggestion

b : a possible significance the book has political implications

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Other Words from implication

implicative \ ˈim-​plə-​ˌkā-​tiv , im-​ˈpli-​kə-​ \ adjective
implicatively adverb
implicativeness noun

Examples of implication in a Sentence

… but whereas Updike and Roth work to establish connection and coherence in the face of time's chaos, DeLillo is an artist of diffusion and dispersal, of implication and missing information. — A. O. Scott, New York Times Book Review, 21 May 2006 … the power of ideas to transform the world is itself accelerating. Although people readily agree with this observation when simply stated, very few people truly appreciate its profound implications. — Ray Kurzweil, Curious Minds, (2004) 2005 … the astronomer Edwin Hubble found that the universe is expanding, and by implication must have originated a finite time ago in an explosion popularly called the big bang. — Paul Davies, The New Physics, 1989 I'm offended by his implication that women can't be good at mathematics. He condemned the court and, by implication, the entire legal system. He was shocked by the implication of his partner in the theft.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In a post-#MeToo world, the implications of this storyline look uncomfortably familiar. Constance Grady, Vox, "How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today," 31 Oct. 2018 Take a moment to consider the implications of that fact. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "First thing we do, let’s kill all the experts," 21 Oct. 2018 The most obvious implication of the looming Supreme Court vacancy is that Roe's days are numbered, but this is not the only issue that Justice Kennedy's abdication has placed in the balance. Jay Willis, GQ, "The Trump Administration Is Hell-Bent on Ending Affirmative Action," 3 July 2018 But the implications of coastal land loss stretch beyond property lines and mineral rights. Sara Sneath,, "As Louisiana's coast washes away, state cashing in on disputed oil and gas rights," 31 May 2018 How Levine made his money, and where his investments are, have real implications on his candidacy and on his potential tenure. David Smiley, Joey Flechas And Danny Rivero, miamiherald, "Hustle and Flow: How Philip Levine made the money that’s financing his bid for governor," 10 July 2018 Nobody could have predicted the implications, but what annoys with the Zuckerberg testimony and so on is still this game of naivete. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Business management expert and author Tom Peters on Recode Decode," 7 July 2018 The implication seems clear but not entirely helpful: An orthodox Catholic judge should recuse himself or herself if the legal materials required affirming Roe. Mark Tushnet, Vox, "Is it anti-Catholic to ask a Supreme Court nominee how her religion affects her decisions?," 5 July 2018 While Cousins will earn $5.3 million, the contract will cost the warriors approximately $22 million because of luxury tax implications. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "DeMarcus Cousins agrees to sign with Golden State Warriors on one-year, $5.3 million deal," 2 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of implication

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for implication

see implicate

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for implication

The first known use of implication was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of implication

: a possible future effect or result

: something that is suggested without being said directly : something that is implied

: the fact or state of being involved in or connected to something (such as a crime) : the fact or state of being implicated in something


im·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ˌim-plə-ˈkā-shən \

Kids Definition of implication

1 : the fact or state of being involved in or connected to something

2 : a possible future effect or result Consider the implications of your actions.

3 : something that is suggested Your implication is unfair.


im·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ˌim-plə-ˈkā-shən \

Legal Definition of implication 

1 : the act of implicating : the state of being implicated

2 : the act of implying : the state of being implied

3 : something implied

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Comments on implication

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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