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

More compelling, to my mind, are the documents’ implications for a potential antitrust case around competition issues. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 This doesn't simply have an impact on sea life and coastal communities; there are implications for every single person on the planet. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 But unless there are playoff implications — and there probably will be — only fans of these two teams will care much about this one. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: Rating the Seahawks’ 10 remaining games as Seattle comes off its bye week," 22 Oct. 2018 Probabilities While most people would support the solving of crimes using this method, there are some basic privacy implications. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Chances DNA can be used to find your family? Sixty percent and rising," 11 Oct. 2018 The danger for Trump is the implication of collusion scattered throughout the indictments. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Mueller’s New Indictment Points to Collusion With Russia," 13 July 2018 More worrying, says Sophia Besch of the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank, are the implications of going it alone for wider defence co-operation. The Economist, "A Brexit row over Galileo could damage broader co-operation on defence," 7 June 2018 There are no direct legal implications of the clause in contemporary Ireland, but the wording is considered by some as undermining women. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "Saudi Women Drivers, U.S. Softball, Bill Clinton Whiffs on #MeToo: Broadsheet for June 5," 5 June 2018 There are implications far beyond a misdemeanor arrest for public intoxication on the line for him. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "Arrest impact? A possible suspension could cost Cowboys WR Terrance Williams his job | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 21 May 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

11 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on implication

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with implication

Spanish Central: Translation of implication

Nglish: Translation of implication for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of implication for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about implication

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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