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

Synonyms: Verb

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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 More plausible, Bierson and his team surmise, is a scenario in which Pluto formed over a mere 30,000 years as rocks, just a few inches wide and drawn in towards the planet by its own gravity, pelted the nascent world’s surface. Popular Science, "Frigid Pluto may have had a toasty start," 29 June 2020 Scientists cite several layers of evidence to support their surmises. Los Angeles Times, "Was the coronavirus made in a Wuhan lab? Here’s what the genetic evidence shows," 9 May 2020 To make sense of a correspondence, however complete or incomplete, is to constellate fragmentary evidence, and make surmises about what is missing (including what may not have been apparent to the letter-writers themselves). Langdon Hammer, The New York Review of Books, "Letters: Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Art Form or Something’," 25 Feb. 2020 Entertaining those that remained into Monday morning, of course, with enough crazy choreography to make any festival-goer surmise that those hand-out sandwiches may well have been dosed. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Woodstock at 50: The 12 Best Performances From the 1969 Festival," 14 Aug. 2019 The wild surmise of his design sketches beguiled virtually all who saw them. Bill Wyman, New York Times, "The Sydney Opera House Goes Quiet. Finally.," 6 Mar. 2020 His surmise that official Washington is less enamored of his border wall than are the participants at his campaign rallies is correct. James Freeman, WSJ, "Trump Credits Trade Deal for his ‘Crazy Life’," 29 Jan. 2020 Though there’s no micro-level evidence on savings rates to check this against, cautions Schmelzing, this surmise is consistent with narrative accounts and research on longer-term wealth evolution. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "What interest rates dating back to 1311 tell us about today’s global economy," 19 Jan. 2020 My surmise is that the statement is not logical but political: its officials harbor the fear that the Holocaust will become little more than a polemical weapon in ideological contests between left and right. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Why Historical Analogy Matters," 7 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At some point in the first term, however, experts surmise that an even more secret briefing occurs, one that has never been publicly acknowledged. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's Magazine, "The Enemies Briefcase," 27 Oct. 2020 It’s not too much of a stretch to surmise that particular stanza inspired an anonymous 19th-century baker to name her yellow cake after Minnehaha. Kevyn Burger Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "How to make the Minnehaha Cake, a 150-year old recipe that swept the nation," 16 Sep. 2020 The biggest bacteria could, the scientists surmise, survive the shortest possible trip. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Did Life Come from Somewhere Else? Panspermia Is Possible, Experiment Suggests," 14 Sep. 2020 One need not be ageist to surmise the benefit of a coaching group that averaged 37 years old with a median age of 36. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants’ ‘baby’ coaching staff might prove to be an advantage in long camp days," 9 July 2020 Most officials surmise it’s a combination of people tired of being stuck at home and blowing off a little steam. Anna Buchmann, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: How will new coronavirus surge affect California’s reopening?," 25 June 2020 Most officials surmise that the fireworks are a combination of people tired of being stuck at home and blowing off a little steam. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area fireworks complaints grow by the hundreds as police search for answers on uptick," 24 June 2020 The researchers surmise that’s because the neuron connections that compare the inner circle to the outer black ones get weaker as the primary visual cortex gets larger. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "These two red dots are actually identical. Here’s how," 2 June 2020 If fact, some people surmise it’s the very plant that settled us from nomadic to agricultural. Sunset Magazine, "Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation Is Easier Than You Think," 8 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for surmise

Time Traveler

The first known use of surmise was in 1569

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Statistics for surmise

Cite this Entry

“Surmise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surmise. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for surmise

surmise

verb
How to pronounce surmise (audio)

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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Comments on surmise

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