Etymology
Advertisement

imply (v.)

late 14c., implien, emplien "to enfold, enwrap, entangle" (the classical Latin sense), from Old French emplier, from Latin implicare "involve, enfold, entangle," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait").

Meaning "to involve something unstated as a logical consequence" first recorded c. 1400; that of "to hint at" is 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?" Or, as Century Dictionary puts it, "An action implies ability or preparation, but involves consequences."

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of imply

imply (v.)
express or state indirectly;
Synonyms: connote
imply (v.)
suggest as a logically necessary consequence; in logic;
imply (v.)
have as a logical consequence;
Synonyms: entail / mean
imply (v.)
suggest that someone is guilty;
Synonyms: incriminate / inculpate
imply (v.)
have as a necessary feature;
Synonyms: involve
From wordnet.princeton.edu