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

Here, an attempt to think through the various legacy implications of going Hollywood. Chris Gayomali, GQ, "The Upside of the Lakers," 2 July 2018 Behold, a frame-by-frame college football viewing guide for the NFL fan, highlighting one matchup each week with heavy draft implications: Saturday, Sept. 1, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga. Conor Orr,, "An NFL Fan’s Viewing Guide to the 2019 College Football Season," 13 July 2018 This, of course, has hugely unforeseen implications today, with Trump facing both multiple investigations and lawsuits. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "4 big questions about Brett Kavanaugh," 10 July 2018 The differences are stark, and so are the potential implications: two weeks in July, separated by exactly 70 years and by diametrically opposite visions of America’s place in the world. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "US-Europe ties and the audacity of July 1948," 9 July 2018 The burden is on the state to justify its act, failing which there’s a right, by implication, to sell and use contraceptives. WSJ, "Correcting the Record on Judicial Activism," 9 July 2018 The implication: Whatever President Trump did with the government, the country was actually governed by powerful corporations. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Tech Industry Is Fighting Trump—and Mostly Losing," 27 June 2018 The implications of technology that can alter people’s perceptions of themselves and the world is profound. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "Reality+ Explores How to Change the Way the World Literally Sees You," 26 June 2018 Global implications China is a major user of coal and therefore a major contributor to climate change. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "In China, coal rules cut sulfur emissions, but data manipulation is a concern," 25 June 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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Statistics for implication

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for implication

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

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More Definitions for implication



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

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