surmise

1 of 2

noun

sur·​mise sər-ˈmīz How to pronounce surmise (audio)
ˈsər-ˌmīz
: a thought or idea based on scanty evidence : conjecture

surmise

2 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Like the extended music video surmises, Lopez’s search for love in all forms is born out of not feeling loved enough as a child. Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, 28 Feb. 2024 But watching it last night, I was struck with a wild surmise about the characters’ potential origin. Vulture, 22 Dec. 2023
Verb
Others surmised that a military officer or strongman—anyone but Saddam Hussein or his sons—would step in. David Petraeus, Foreign Affairs, 17 June 2024 Heimburg surmised that the drugs might work by soaking into the cell membranes, altering their physical properties. Douglas Fox, Scientific American, 1 Apr. 2018 See all Example Sentences for surmise 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'surmise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

1569, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1647, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of surmise was in 1569

Dictionary Entries Near surmise

Cite this Entry

“Surmise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surmise. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

surmise

1 of 2 verb
sur·​mise sər-ˈmīz How to pronounce surmise (audio)
surmised; surmising
: to form an idea of based on very little evidence : guess

surmise

2 of 2 noun
sur·​mise sər-ˈmīz How to pronounce surmise (audio)
ˈsər-ˌmīz
: a thought or idea based on little evidence : conjecture

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