Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To predict (a result or an event) without sufficient information.
  • intransitive verb To assume, presume, or assert (a fact) without sufficient information.
  • intransitive verb To form a correct estimate or conjecture of.
  • intransitive verb To suppose; think.
  • intransitive verb To make an estimate or conjecture.
  • intransitive verb To estimate or conjecture correctly.
  • noun An act or instance of guessing.
  • noun A conjecture arrived at by guessing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See another-guess, a.
  • To form, without certain knowledge, but from probable indications, a notion concerning; form a provisional or an imperfect opinion concerning; conjecture; surmise.
  • To conjecture rightly; solve by a correct conjecture; form a true opinion of: as, to guess one's design; to guess a riddle.
  • In a loose use, to believe; think; suppose; imagine: with a clause for object.
  • [This use is common in English literature from the first appearance of the word; but it is now regarded as colloquial, and, from its frequency in the United States, it is generally supposed by Englishmen to be an “Americanism.” By an easy extension guess is used for think, believe, or suppose, even where the meaning is not at all conjectural, but positive, and it is then logically superfluous, serving merely to make the assertion less abrupt: as, I guess I will go now (that is, I am going now); I guess I know what I'm about (that is, I know what I am doing). In most instances this use probably arises from a desire to avoid positive assertion, or from some feeling of hesitation or uncertainty.] Synonyms Imagine, Presume, etc. See conjecture.
  • To form a conjecture; judge or conclude from incomplete or uncertain evidence: commonly with at or by.
  • noun A notion gathered from mere probability or imperfect information; a judgment or conclusion without sufficient or determinate evidence; a conjecture; a surmise: as, to act by guess.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To form an opinion concerning, without knowledge or means of knowledge; to judge of at random; to conjecture.
  • transitive verb To judge or form an opinion of, from reasons that seem preponderating, but are not decisive.
  • transitive verb To solve by a correct conjecture; to conjecture rightly.
  • transitive verb obsolete To hit upon or reproduce by memory.
  • transitive verb To think; to suppose; to believe; to imagine; -- followed by an objective clause.
  • intransitive verb To make a guess or random judgment; to conjecture; -- with at, about, etc.
  • noun An opinion as to anything, formed without sufficient or decisive evidence or grounds; an attempt to hit upon the truth by a random judgment; a conjecture; a surmise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A prediction about the outcome of something, typically made without factual evidence or support.
  • verb To reach a partly (or totally) unqualified conclusion.
  • verb To solve by a correct conjecture; to conjecture rightly.
  • verb to suppose (introducing a proposition of uncertain plausibility).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb expect, believe, or suppose
  • verb put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation
  • noun an estimate based on little or no information
  • verb guess correctly; solve by guessing
  • noun a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence
  • verb judge tentatively or form an estimate of (quantities or time)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English gessen, probably of Scandinavian origin; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English gesse. Cognate with Dutch gis ("a guess").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English gessen, probably of Scandinavian origin, from Old Danish getse, gitse, getsa ("to guess"), from Old Norse *getsa, *gitsa, from Proto-Germanic *gitisōnan (“to guess”), from Proto-Germanic *getanan (“to get”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰed- (“to take, seize”). Cognate with Danish gisse ("to guess"), Swedish gissa ("to guess"), Dutch gissen ("to guess"), Low German gissen ("to guess"). Related also to Icelandic giska ("to guess"; from Proto-Germanic *gitiskōnan). Compare also Russian гадать (gadatʹ, "to conjecture, guess, divine"), Albanian gjëzë ("riddle") from gjej ("find, recover, obtain"). More at get.

Examples

  • Some pseudo code: min = 0 max = 10 found = false count = 1 while found = = false guess = (max + min) / 2 print Is your number $guess? input = getInput () if input = = "yes" print "yay I got it in $count guesses" found = true elsif input = = "lower" max = input count++ else min = input count++ end end print "game over"

    Ask MetaFilter

  • The Iranian people are not children and there is no need for us to 'finish the job' as you assert which I guess is code for sticking our fat, greedy heads into the situation.

    Iran's election and the Baha'i community

  • This time, it's the credibility of the "Bush-bashers," a diaphanous term which we can only guess translates as "anyone who disagrees with the president's administration" (the majority of America, to beat a dead horse), which is the problem.

    Scott Thill: Jonah Goldberg's Logic Loops Will Kill the LA Times

  • Ted smiled coyly as if the word guess was a modest expression of fact from the mouth of the only authority.

    The Riverman

  • Ted smiled coyly as if the word guess was a modest expression of fact from the mouth of the only authority.

    The Riverman

  • Ted smiled coyly as if the word guess was a modest expression of fact from the mouth of the only authority.

    The Riverman

  • Within moments, his mother informed us that Teddy just said hirvi, which I can only guess is Finnish for orphaned doe with eyes big as dinner plates.

    Vonnegut's Asshole

  • Shut Up and go back to Alaska but my guess is after you bailed on them they don't want you back either.

    Palin blasts the 'Obama doctrine'

  • I do not know if that linkage can be proven, but my guess is the fee was the result of a number of actions that Harding took, over a period of years, which were favorable to Hevesi.

    Henry J. Stern: Betrayal of the Public Trust

  • I do not know if that linkage can be proven, but my guess is the fee was the result of a number of actions that Harding took, over a period of years, which were favorable to Hevesi.

    Henry J. Stern: Betrayal of the Public Trust

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