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From Middle English implien, emplien, borrowed from Old French emplier, from Latin implicare (to infold, involve), from in (in) + plicare (to fold). Doublet of employ and implicate.



imply (third-person singular simple present implies, present participle implying, simple past and past participle implied)

  1. (transitive, of a proposition) to have as a necessary consequence
    The proposition that "all dogs are mammals" implies that my dog is a mammal
  2. (transitive, of a person) to suggest by logical inference
    When I state that your dog is brown, I am not implying that all dogs are brown
  3. (transitive, of a person or proposition) to hint; to insinuate; to suggest tacitly and avoid a direct statement
    What do you mean "we need to be more careful with hygiene"? Are you implying that I don't wash my hands?
  4. (archaic) to enfold, entangle.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.iv:
      And in his bosome secretly there lay / An hatefull Snake, the which his taile vptyes / In many folds, and mortall sting implyes.

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