American English

Definition of imply verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they imply
    he / she / it implies
    past simple implied
    -ing form implying
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  1. 1to suggest that something is true or that you feel or think something, without saying so directly imply (that)… Are you implying (that) I am wrong? imply something I disliked the implied criticism in his voice. His silence seemed to imply agreement. it is implied that… It was implied that we were at fault. Which Word?infer / imply Infer and imply have opposite meanings. The two words can describe the same event, but from different points of view. If a speaker or writer implies something, they suggest it without saying it directly:The article implied that the pilot was responsible for the accident.If you infer something from what a speaker or writer says, you come to the conclusion that this is what he or she means:I inferred from the article that the pilot was responsible for the accident. Infer is now often used with the same meaning as imply. However, many people consider that a sentence such asAre you inferring that I’m a liar?is incorrect, although it is fairly common in speech.
  2. 2to make it seem likely that something is true or exists synonym suggest imply (that)… The survey implies (that) more people are moving away than was thought. it is implied that… It was implied in the survey that… imply something The fact that she was here implies a degree of interest.
  3. 3imply something (of an idea, action, etc.) to make something necessary in order to be successful synonym mean The project implies an enormous investment in training. Sustainable development implies a long-term perspective. see also implication
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: imply