Imply, Infer

Infer is not a synonym for imply. Imply is done by a speaker or writer—specifically, one who is being indirect: She implied that I'm a fool means that she didn't come right out and say it, but she got her point across.

Infer is done by a perceptive listener or reader who "catches" your meaning: I infer that you think I'm a fool.

Imply is akin to suggest and insinuate; infer is akin to deduce and conclude.

Confusing Words and Homonyms

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