implicit

adjective
im·​plic·​it | \ im-ˈpli-sət How to pronounce implicit (audio) \

Definition of implicit

1a : capable of being understood from something else though unexpressed : implied an implicit assumption
b : involved in the nature or essence of something though not revealed, expressed, or developed : potential a sculptor may see different figures implicit in a block of stone— John Dewey
c of a mathematical function : defined by an expression in which the dependent variable and the one or more independent variables are not separated on opposite sides of an equation — compare explicit sense 4
2 : being without doubt or reserve : unquestioning an implicit trust

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Other Words from implicit

implicitly adverb
implicitness noun

Implicit With a Preposition

Implicit is often followed by a preposition, and that preposition is usually in:

"American Horror Story" is a pretty grisly show. No one should be too surprised by that revelation — it’s sort of the promise implicit in its name, after all.
—Lacy Baugher, The Baltimore Sun, 3 Nov. 2016

On less frequent occasions, implicit may be followed by from, with, or within:

[S]uch a ruling seemed implicit from Fullam’s comments.
—Sean O’Sullivan, The News Journal (Wilmington, DE), 4 October 2006

Implicit with the discovery of oil was the hard truth that it wasn't going to last forever.
—Warren Jones et al., Alaska Dispatch News, 1 June 2016

Russia's president was explicit, calling on the West to pressure Kiev to deliver results. Implicit within that was a threat: that Moscow will not play along with the talks forever.
—Sarah Rainsford, BBC News, 14 Aug. 2016

The black dead ocean looked like a mirror of the night; it was cold, implicit with dread and death…
—Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead, 1948

Examples of implicit in a Sentence

This assumption, implicit in innumerable statements by President Reagan … dictates most of our current political and military programs. — Henry Steele Commager, Atlantic, March 1982 … in the best stories the end is implicit from the beginning. — Joan Aiken, The Writer, May 1968 The goodness and strength implicit within Pen unfold but slowly. — John DeBruyn, LIT, Spring 1966 The movies borrowed from other arts on the way to finding methods implicit in their medium. — Bernard DeVoto, The World of Fiction, 1950 There is a sense of moral duty implicit in her writings. I have implicit trust in her honesty.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The House of Representatives is set to vote as early as Thursday on a Democratic resolution condemning anti-Semitism, an implicit rebuke to a freshman lawmaker whose criticism of U.S. policy toward Israel has prompted accusations of anti-Semitism. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "House to Vote on Measure Condemning Anti-Semitism, in Implicit Rebuke to Freshman Democrat," 5 Mar. 2019 In most cases, the reason — implicit or explicit — was an allegation of fraud. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump is separating an unknown number of families at the border for “fraud”," 12 Oct. 2018 The ruling is a major victory for Trump and his administration as well as an implicit rebuke to the judges on the East and West coasts who repeatedly issued nationwide orders to block the travel ban. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Supreme Court upholds Trump's travel ban, bolstering president's power to block new arrivals," 26 June 2018 In its 50th anniversary year, implicit and explicit debates about 1968 and its legacy are roiling German politics. The Economist, "The legacy of Germany’s student protests in 1968," 31 May 2018 This is not to say that any of this is done with an implicit or explicit nod from the government or the fact that every single thing that comes out is bad, not at all. Angela Chen, The Verge, "How fake drugs can make you sicker — even if you never take them," 24 May 2018 When challenging implicit or explicit bias, a firm conviction and a kissy face emoji can go a long way to changing the world. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "The 2018 Tony Award Nominations Celebrate A Black Hermione," 2 May 2018 But the topic and setting will provide an implicit contrast to Trump and his view of US leadership around the globe. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Obama to deliver Mandela event speech in latest contrast with Trump," 23 Apr. 2018 Headley’s violent arrest comes after years of Mayor de Blasio and police department officials praising the NYPD’s increased emphasis on de-escalation and fighting implicit bias. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Video of police ripping a black child from his mom has sparked debate over NYPD practices," 11 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'implicit.' 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 implicit

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for implicit

Latin implicitus, past participle of implicare — see implicate

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Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for implicit

The first known use of implicit was in 1599

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More Definitions for implicit

implicit

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of implicit

: understood though not clearly or directly stated
: not affected by doubt

implicit

adjective
im·​plic·​it | \ im-ˈpli-sət How to pronounce implicit (audio) \

Kids Definition of implicit

1 : understood though not put clearly into words an implicit warning
2 : not affected by doubt : absolute He had my implicit trust.

Other Words from implicit

implicitly adverb

implicit

adjective
im·​plic·​it | \ im-ˈpli-sət How to pronounce implicit (audio) \

Legal Definition of implicit

: capable of being recognized though unexpressed : implied

Other Words from implicit

implicitly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on implicit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with implicit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for implicit

Spanish Central: Translation of implicit

Nglish: Translation of implicit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of implicit for Arabic Speakers

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