surmise

noun
sur·​mise | \sər-ˈmīz, ˈsər-ˌmīz\

Definition of surmise 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a thought or idea based on scanty evidence : conjecture

surmise

verb
sur·​mise | \sər-ˈmīz \
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

conjecture, guess, shot, supposition

Synonyms: Verb

assume, conjecture, daresay, guess, imagine, presume, speculate, suppose, suspect, suspicion [chiefly dialect]

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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

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 This attitudinal change was anticipated centuries earlier by Aristotle’s surmise that the curved shadow of a lunar eclipse is that of a spherical Earth. Alan Hirshfeld, WSJ, "The Greatest Show on Earth," 11 Aug. 2017 His discovery, according to numerous historians who have written books about Nixon and conducted extensive research of his papers, finally provides validation of what had largely been surmise. Peter Baker, Orange County Register, "Nixon tried to spoil Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968, notes show," 3 Jan. 2017 His discovery, according to numerous historians who have written books about Nixon and conducted extensive research of his papers, finally provides validation of what had largely been surmise. Peter Baker, Orange County Register, "Nixon tried to spoil Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968, notes show," 3 Jan. 2017 His discovery, according to numerous historians who have written books about Nixon and conducted extensive research of his papers, finally provides validation of what had largely been surmise. Peter Baker, Orange County Register, "Nixon tried to spoil Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968, notes show," 3 Jan. 2017 His discovery, according to numerous historians who have written books about Nixon and conducted extensive research of his papers, finally provides validation of what had largely been surmise. Peter Baker, Orange County Register, "Nixon tried to spoil Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968, notes show," 3 Jan. 2017 Ideas formed based on uneducated surmises, particularly those by people with poor knowledge of Islam, can backfire horribly. Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek, "How Donald Trump Is Fueling ISIS," 27 Feb. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lauren Berger, one of the authors, surmises that a lower or conflicting ethnic identity—that is, the extent to which someone ascribes to one identity over another—may contribute to it. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "Crazy Rich Asians," 14 Aug. 2018 So a new theory emerged: experts surmised that fish small enough to eat copepods, like those caught in Tarangara’s pond, were to blame. New York Times, "Nearly Eradicated in Humans, the Guinea Worm Finds New Victims: Dogs," 18 June 2018 Speaking animatedly above the incessant back-up beeper of a nearby mini-forklift, Bolton surmised the hectic scene looking a little like someone who still couldn't believe his good fortune. Rosemary Feitelberg | Wwd, latimes.com, "The Met’s Costume Institute unveils ‘Heavenly Bodies’ exhibition during preview before the Met Gala," 7 May 2018 The researchers surmised that the vast expansion of certain gene families in the octopus, and the network of linkages among the genes, could account for the development of its neurological complexity. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "The Octopus: Stable Genius," 2 Feb. 2018 Its actual wishbone will be installed, replacing the bone scientists surmised was the wishbone. Steve Johnson And Phil Geib, chicagotribune.com, "The dismantling of Sue the T. rex at the Field Museum," 3 Feb. 2018 But lenders did not take the discounted payment amounts into consideration, which could lead to the bank surmising that a borrower had too much debt to be able to make their monthly payments, leading to a mortgage denial. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Yet Another Way Student Debt Keeps People from Buying Homes," 11 July 2018 Harrison surmised that Hanson struggled to adapt from being an everyday player in the minors to a role guy in the majors. Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle, "In Alen Hanson, Giants scored an infielder with potential to bloom," 21 May 2018 His teammate, defensive end Allen Bailey, surmised as much. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "What a leaner Chris Jones means for the Chiefs' plans for him | The Kansas City Star," 17 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near surmise

Surma

surmark

surmisable

surmise

surmiser

surmount

surmounted arch

Statistics for surmise

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Time Traveler for surmise

The first known use of surmise was in 1569

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More Definitions for surmise

surmise

verb

English Language Learners Definition of surmise

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

surmise

noun
sur·​mise | \sər-ˈmīz \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surmise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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