Imply vs. Infer

Difference Between Imply and Infer

Imply and Infer are a pair of words that have similar meanings but they are used in totally different contexts.

Imply

Imply means to suggest or to mean something. In a model of communication it is the speaker who can mean or indicate something. That means only the speaker can imply something.  If you are participating in a conversation then you can imply or mean something. For example you have a legal agent whom you suspect to be a fraud. If you let him know by your behavior that you think he is a fraud then you are implying that he is a fraud according to you.

Infer

Infer means to deduce or arrive at a solution. In a model of communication when it is the speaker who can imply something, it is the listener who infers or deduces the meaning of what is being said. When someone speaks the others who are listening to him / her is inferring to what is being spoken. For example you have a legal agent whom you suspect to be a fraud. If you get an idea that your legal agent is a fraud from his behavior then you are inferring that he is a fraud.