guess

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English gessen, probably of Scandinavian origin, from Old Danish getse, gitse, getsa (to guess), from Old Norse *getsa, *gitsa, from Proto-Germanic *gitisōną (to guess), from Proto-Germanic *getaną (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 *gitiskōną). Compare also Russian гадать (gadatʹ, to conjecture, guess, divine), Albanian gjëzë (riddle) from gjej (find, recover, obtain). More at get.

Verb[edit]

guess (third-person singular simple present guesses, present participle guessing, simple past and past participle guessed)

  1. To reach a partly (or totally) unqualified conclusion.
  2. To solve by a correct conjecture; to conjecture rightly.
    He who guesses the riddle shall have the ring.
  3. (chiefly US) to suppose (introducing a proposition of uncertain plausibility).
    That album is quite hard to find, but I guess you could try ordering it online.
    • Shakespeare
      Not all together; better far, I guess, / That we do make our entrance several ways.
    • Alexander Pope
      But in known images of life I guess / The labour greater.
    • 1914–1915, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Valley of Fear:
      "Are you a member of the union?"

      "Sure."

      "Then you'll get your job, I guess. Have you any friends?"

  4. (obsolete) To hit upon or reproduce by memory.
    • Shakespeare
      Tell me their words, as near as thou canst guess them.
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Etymology 2[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

guess (plural guesses)

  1. A prediction about the outcome of something, typically made without factual evidence or support.
    If you don't know the answer, take a guess.
    • 1907, L. Frank Baum, Ozma of Oz:
      "But I shall have eleven guesses," answered Ozma. "Surely I ought to guess one object in eleven correctly; and, if I do, I shall rescue one of the royal family and be safe myself. Then the rest of you may attempt it, and soon we shall free all those who are enslaved."
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