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

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The motives that propel Caliban and his followers can only be surmised, because instead of inhabiting their thoughts and memories, Kelley gives his chapters over to the white locals witnessing the migration. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Great Migration North," 28 June 2019 Keltner surmises that an engineer might have made a copy of the session and passed it around. David Gambacorta, Longreads, "Took You By Surprise: John and Paul’s Lost Reunion," 25 June 2019 In his testimony, Dean stated what many commentators have surmised since the release of the Mueller report: that the special counsel’s findings were a directive for congressional action. Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker, "House Democrats Inch Along on Impeachment," 12 June 2019 Getty Images The 2019 Sentebale polo match compared with the 2018 celebrations perfectly surmise just how much Prince Harry’s life has changed in the past twelve months. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Brought Back the Cutest Gift for Baby Archie From the Sentebale Polo," 27 May 2019 Last year, state officials surmised the unexpected drop in oil flow could have been from higher than normal winter North Slope temperatures. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska North Slope oil production is about to be at its lowest fiscal-year level since pipeline startup," 28 June 2019 An article in The Economist in 1971 surmised that over Rs400 crore of gold was illegally shipped into India every year. Abeer Kapoor, Quartz India, "The fascinating story of an American smuggler’s daring escapades in 1960s India," 19 June 2019 Does Pete Davidson, as fans surmised from his relationship with Ariana Grande, indeed have BDE? Bridget Read, Vogue, "Pete Davidson and Kate Beckinsale—and Antoni Porowski?—Are an Instant Meme," 4 Mar. 2019 The world is waiting to see a big rock on Kylie's finger, but David surmises that Travis may not be ready for that commitment just yet. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott's Birth Charts Reveal When It's Likely That They'll Have Another Kid," 22 May 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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Dictionary Entries near surmise

Surma

surmark

surmisable

surmise

surmiser

surmount

surmounted arch

Statistics for surmise

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

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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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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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