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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

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

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 None of these birds survived, which the authors surmise was because their habitat had entirely vanished. National Geographic, "How Did Dino-Era Birds Survive the Asteroid 'Apocalypse'?," 24 May 2018 It might be surmised that the mayor and the city have plenty of more important things to be working on. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "KC Mayor Sly James talks about possible NBA, NHL team in Kansas City," 13 June 2018 Officers surmised the father and his two sons slept on the floor surrounded by loose clothing and bedding. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, "Dad charged with child abuse homicide after son, 2, shoots self, authorities say," 8 June 2018 Some surmised a battle of the gray-haired mustaches between Cobb and National Security Adviser John Bolton. Caroline Tanner, USA TODAY, "Trump lawyer Ty Cobb plans to retire, and everyone wants to joke about his mustache," 2 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about surmise

Dictionary Entries near surmise

Surma

surmark

surmisable

surmise

surmiser

surmount

surmounted arch

Statistics for surmise

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surmise

The first known use of surmise was in 1569

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on surmise

What made you want to look up surmise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!