imply

verb
im·​ply | \ im-ˈplī How to pronounce imply (audio) \
implied; implying

Definition of imply

transitive verb

1 : to express indirectly Her remarks implied a threat. The news report seems to imply his death was not an accident.
2 : to involve or indicate by inference, association, or necessary consequence rather than by direct statement rights imply obligations
3 : to contain potentially
4 obsolete : enfold, entwine

Choose the Right Synonym for imply

suggest, imply, hint, intimate, insinuate mean to convey an idea indirectly. 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 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 hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement. hinted that she might get the job intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor. intimates that there is more to the situation than meets the eye insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner. insinuated that there were shady dealings

Infer vs. Imply: Usage Guide

Sir Thomas More is the first writer known to have used both infer and imply in their approved senses in 1528 (with infer meaning "to deduce from facts" and imply meaning "to hint at"). He is also the first to have used infer in a sense close in meaning to imply (1533). Both of these uses of infer coexisted without comment until some time around the end of World War I. Since then, the "indicate" and "hint or suggest" meanings of infer have been frequently condemned as an undesirable blurring of a useful distinction. The actual blurring has been done by the commentators. The "indicate" sense of infer, descended from More's use of 1533, does not occur with a personal subject. When objections arose, they were to a use with a personal subject (which is now considered a use of the "suggest, hint" sense of infer). Since dictionaries did not recognize this use specifically, the objectors assumed that the "indicate" sense was the one they found illogical, even though it had been in respectable use for four centuries. The actual usage condemned was a spoken one never used in logical discourse. At present the condemned "suggest, hint" sense is found in print chiefly in letters to the editor and other informal prose, not in serious intellectual writing. The controversy over the "suggest, hint" sense has apparently reduced the frequency with which the "indicate" sense of infer is used.

Examples of imply in a Sentence

Early reports implied that the judge's death was not an accident. His words implied a threat. War implies fighting and death.
Recent Examples on the Web Any move to arrest parliament members who took part in Wednesday's session, as Saied's threat of investigations may imply, would represent a major escalation in the confrontation between Saied and his opponents. CNN, 1 Apr. 2022 Maimonides sides with the opinion that exemption does not imply that women are barred from commandments they are not obligated to perform. Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, 14 Mar. 2022 Those words imply that Guinness 0 is something more than simply a nonalcoholic version of Guinness Draught; there are other flavors and components at work. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, 11 Mar. 2022 The video was used for a documentary and has nothing to do with the invasion of Ukraine, as the social media posts imply. Chiara Vercellone, USA TODAY, 9 Mar. 2022 Agrawal seemed to imply that the results of the poll could be important. NBC News, 5 Apr. 2022 Recent comments the top Marvel exec made seemed to imply that Marvel is done with the Avengers franchise. Chris Smith, BGR, 31 Mar. 2022 The Penn athletic department sent reporters a statement from other members of the swim team, which seemed to imply that only a small minority of her teammates opposed her participation. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 17 Mar. 2022 Also notable is that third-party stores would imply support for third-party payment systems. Chris Smith, BGR, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imply.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of imply

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for imply

Middle English emplien, from Anglo-French emplier to entangle — more at employ

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Time Traveler for imply

Time Traveler

The first known use of imply was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near imply

impluvium

imply

impocket

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Statistics for imply

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Imply.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imply. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for imply

imply

verb
im·​ply | \ im-ˈplī How to pronounce imply (audio) \
implied; implying

Kids Definition of imply

: to express indirectly : suggest rather than say plainly Your remark implies that I am wrong.

imply

transitive verb
im·​ply | \ im-ˈplī How to pronounce imply (audio) \
implied; implying

Legal Definition of imply

1 : to recognize as existing by inference or necessary consequence especially on legal or equitable grounds in ordinary circumstances…the law would imply that it was the duty of the hospital to use due careHaase v. Starnes, 915 S.W.2d 675 (1996)
2 : to make known indirectly

More from Merriam-Webster on imply

Nglish: Translation of imply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imply for Arabic Speakers

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