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

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

Since the act, dealers have surmised that the winning bidder, who remains anonymous, likely scored an unexpected windfall, since collectors tend to pay a premium for works that carry notoriety or a memorable story. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "‘Going, Going, Gone...’: Banksy Artwork Shreds Itself After Sale," 7 Oct. 2018 The internet had already surmised as much this summer, when they were spotted in Cannes, then Paris, and then Tokyo. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Weeknd Goes All Out on Instagram for Bella Hadid’s Birthday," 9 Oct. 2018 The 20-page report does not say whether the abuses constitute genocide and crimes against humanity, as U.N. investigators have surmised. Matthew Pennington, The Seattle Times, "US: Myanmar military led ‘extreme’ violence against Rohingya," 24 Sep. 2018 The 20-page report does not say whether the abuses constitute genocide and crimes against humanity, as U.N. investigators have surmised. Matthew Pennington, Fox News, "US: Myanmar military led 'extreme' violence against Rohingya," 24 Sep. 2018 But easy to surmise that any obstruction case was just made that much harder. Michael Smerconish, Philly.com, "After titillating IG report, Rod Rosenstein faces a major conflict | Michael Smerconish," 20 June 2018 James, some have surmised, wants to play for coach Gregg Popovich before his legendary run is up. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Ranking LeBron James' best options for free agency," 8 Mar. 2018 Given that the Vatican isn’t exactly transparent on these matters, we are left to surmise that the pope either didn’t read the letter or didn’t believe its contents. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, "Maybe I was wrong about Pope Francis," 13 Apr. 2018 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

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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Learn More about surmise

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

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

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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