verb (used with object), im·plied, im·ply·ing.

  1. to indicate or suggest without being explicitly stated: His words implied a lack of faith.
  2. (of words) to signify or mean.
  3. to involve as a necessary circumstance: Speech implies a speaker.
  4. Obsolete. to enfold.

verb -plies, -plying or -plied (tr; may take a clause as object)

  1. to express or indicate by a hint; suggestwhat are you implying by that remark?
  2. to suggest or involve as a necessary consequence
  3. logic to enable (a conclusion) to be inferred
  4. obsolete to entangle or enfold

late 14c., “to enfold, enwrap, entangle” (the classical Latin sense), from Old French emplier, from Latin implicare “involve” (see implication). Meaning “to involve something unstated as a logical consequence” first recorded c.1400; that of “to hint at” from 1580s. Related: Implied; implying. The distinction between imply and infer is in “What do you imply by that remark?” But, “What am I to infer from that remark?”

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