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

While a number of Marvel diehards are opting for a revisionist history that surmises Fox failed the property, there’s no denying that the X-Men franchise holds an important place within superhero cinema and that the MCU would not exist without it. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Can Play the X-Men Now?," 7 June 2019 Marks surmised that traditionally low North Slope production during the summer months could be straining the ability of West Coast refineries to find adequate supplies, which could contribute to the price premium as well. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "International tensions boost price premium for Alaska crude," 15 Aug. 2019 Some surmised that the killers had come from Sidi Chamarouche. Rachel Monroe, Outside Online, "Last winter, Moroccan officials found two hikers dead on the trail to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. The international investigation that followed revealed the fragility of the adventure travel economy, as well as what happens when a small tourist hub is suddenly made strange by violence.," 29 July 2019 Researchers surmised that heat coming off one building is more likely to be absorbed by another one opposite in grid layouts. The Economist, "Heatwaves like that being experienced in America are more dangerous in cities," 21 July 2019 Both officers, O’Neill reported, also refuted the suicide avowal and instead surmised that the car was possibly dumped after the death. Fox News, "Another Manson murder? Debra Tate, victim's sister, fights to reopen probe into 1969 suspicious death," 31 July 2019 That previous-quarter decline sparked a plethora of hot takes from press and investors surmising the demise of Apple, despite the fact that the iPhone business alone would still be a Fortune 50 company on its own, even accounting for the decline. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Virtually every Apple business grew in every region this quarter—except the iPhone," 30 July 2019 Evercore surmises offshore-rig counts could grow modestly next year. Lauren Silva Laughlin, WSJ, "Why Helicopters Are Sinking Offshore," 27 June 2019 Some national analysts have surmised that Zaidi controls the top end of the trade market this summer due to the surplus of talented arms the Giants have in their bullpen. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Series in Milwaukee shows why Giants and Brewers should trade with each other," 15 July 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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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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