surmise

noun
sur·​mise | \ sər-ˈmīz How to pronounce surmise (audio) , ˈsər-ˌmīz \

Definition of surmise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thought or idea based on scanty evidence : conjecture

surmise

verb
sur·​mise | \ sər-ˈmīz How to pronounce surmise (audio) \
surmised; surmising

Definition of surmise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to form a notion of from scanty evidence : imagine, infer

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Synonyms for surmise

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of surmise in a Sentence

Noun my surmise is that the couple's “good news” is the announcement that they are going to have a baby Verb We can only surmise what happened. He must have surmised that I was not interested.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fans of the original film love to pry into its every nook, with a wild surmise as to Kubrick’s intentions. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Boys Will Be Boys in “Ford v Ferrari”," 8 Nov. 2019 The reason bird genomes are small and streamlined, some experts surmise, has to do with flight. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Solving the Mystery of Songbird Diversity," 1 Nov. 2019 Privileged, comfortable people became convinced that this presidency would directly make their lives worse, and this surmise upset them tremendously. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Republic, "Moments Without Truth," 21 Oct. 2019 When the police and the municipal president — whose 2008 election, many surmise, was bought by the cartels — came with more armed men to release the hostages, the women drove them out too, along with the old political order. Michael Snyder, Los Angeles Times, "An indigenous community in Mexico finds its voice — and strength — in wild mushrooms," 7 Oct. 2019 From his surmise prov'd false, find peace within, *Favor from Heav'n, our witness from th’ event. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Student Discovers Secret Acrostic in Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’," 19 Sep. 2019 Judging by the immediate response of the partisan Tory press this weekend, Johnson is correct in his surmise that what goes on in his personal life remains between him, his girlfriend, and possibly his divorce lawyer. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "Will Boris Johnson’s “Late-Night Altercation” Sink His Bid to Become Prime Minister?," 23 June 2019 This study doesn't really shed light on that surmise. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Does exposure to animals during childhood buffer the body's response to stress as adults?," 1 May 2018 Stoet and Geary surmise that women in these countries may be choosing careers with the strongest path to financial independence. chicagotribune.com, "Number of women entering (STEM) fields growing," 19 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While many online surmised this was because of Gomez's comment, there's no way to know Hadid's true intention. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Selena Gomez Just Responded to Bella Hadid’s Deleting an Instagram She Commented On," 18 Nov. 2019 Locals surmised that drug gangs were involved in the trade; no one else could afford such expensive equipment. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Blood Gold in the Brazilian Rain Forest," 4 Nov. 2019 Blobs of pitch imprinted with human teeth marks have been found at ancient toolmaking sites, where archaeologists surmise the pitch was chewed to soften before use. Kristin Romey, National Geographic, "DNA from Stone Age ‘chewing gum’ tells an incredible story," 17 Dec. 2019 White can only surmise expectations have played a role in his team’s inability to execute the game plan, hit shots and play with enough intensity. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "UF coach Mike White hopes heart-to-heart helps Gators shake off early season malaise," 13 Nov. 2019 Demi’s response of a kissing emoji was all fans needed to surmise that a romance might be brewing. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Demi Lovato and Mike Johnson from "The Bachelorette" Are Reportedly Hanging Out," 15 Sep. 2019 Fans immediately surmised that both songs were about Gomez's tumultuous relationship with Justin Bieber. Abby Gardner And Neha Prakash, Glamour, "Selena Gomez Performs Live for the First Time in Two Years at the 2019 AMAs," 25 Nov. 2019 Jost surmised that Trump, who asked the Supreme Court to protect his tax returns from public exposure, must have damning data in his IRS files. Dennis Romero, NBC News, "'Saturday Night Live' thinks impeachment hearings are a soap opera," 17 Nov. 2019 Some viewers quickly surmised that basketball player Victor Oladipo is the man behind the mask. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "The Masked Singer predictions: EW's picks for which celebs are under the masks," 24 Oct. 2019

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

Noun

1569, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1647, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for surmise

Noun

Middle English, allegation, charge, from Anglo-French, from feminine of surmis, past participle of surmettre to place on, suppose, accuse, from Medieval Latin supermittere, from Late Latin, to place on, from Latin super- + mittere to let go, send

Verb

Middle English, to allege, from surmise, noun

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Time Traveler for surmise

Time Traveler

The first known use of surmise was in 1569

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Statistics for surmise

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Surmise.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surmise. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for surmise

surmise

verb
How to pronounce surmise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of surmise

formal : to form an opinion about something without definitely knowing the truth

surmise

noun
sur·​mise | \ sər-ˈmīz How to pronounce surmise (audio) \

Kids Definition of surmise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thought or idea based on very little evidence : guess

surmise

verb
surmised; surmising

Kids Definition of surmise (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form an idea on very little evidence : guess

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More from Merriam-Webster on surmise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surmise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surmise

Spanish Central: Translation of surmise

Nglish: Translation of surmise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surmise for Arabic Speakers

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