Synonym Chooser

How is the word imply distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of imply are hint, insinuate, intimate, and suggest. While all these words mean "to convey an idea indirectly," imply is close to suggest but may indicate a more definite or logical relation of the unexpressed idea to the expressed.

measures implying that bankruptcy was imminent

When is it sensible to use hint instead of imply?

The words hint and imply are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement.

hinted that she might get the job

When can insinuate be used instead of imply?

The synonyms insinuate and imply are sometimes interchangeable, but insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner.

insinuated that there were shady dealings

When could intimate be used to replace imply?

Although the words intimate and imply have much in common, intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor.

intimates that there is more to the situation than meets the eye

Where would suggest be a reasonable alternative to imply?

While in some cases nearly identical to imply, suggest may stress putting into the mind by association of ideas, awakening of a desire, or initiating a train of thought.

a film title that suggests its subject matter

Thesaurus Entries Near imply

Cite this Entry

“Imply.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on imply

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