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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a matter for speculation/conjecture (=something people discuss and wonder about)
▪ His future had become a matter for speculation.
▪ It is pure conjecture on their part.
▪ It's a matter for conjecture who wrote the original text in the fifteenth century.
▪ Jackson's political plans have been the subject of conjecture since he moved to Washington.
▪ The judge dismissed the evidence as pure conjecture.
▪ Any prediction about the bond markets, of course, is part conjecture.
▪ If Cantor decided to wear it, his tumorigenesis theory would become just another discarded conjecture in the cancer field.
▪ In the author's view the Lucas supply function comprises an arbitrarily concocted mishmash of conjectures and suppositions.
▪ Initially this was scoffed at as farfetched conjecture, but gradually it has received grudging respect and empirical support.
▪ It is a mistake to regard the falsification of bold, highly falsifiable conjectures as the occasions of significant advance in science.
▪ Significant advances will be marked by the confirmation of bold conjectures or the falsification of cautious conjectures.
▪ The unknown is always the most fearsome, opening out into wide areas of conjecture.
▪ You get the sense that, no matter what the outcome, everyone suffers from this kind of racial conjecture.
▪ "Maybe Burt is jealous," Isabelle conjectured.
▪ Ah, well! we may conjecture many things.
▪ But Rennenkampf did not move and one can only conjecture why.
▪ He conjectured that light itself might consist of such waves.
▪ It is widely conjectured that Stalin himself planned the murder of Kirov.
▪ The impact of this episode upon the efforts to change the style of services for mentally ill patients is hard to conjecture.
▪ They conjecture that literacy plays a central part in this process.
▪ Very much the same story as I conjectured for Nosema in the flour beetle and for the fluke in the snail.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Conjecture \Con*jec"ture\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Conjectured; p. pr. & vb. n. Conjecturing.] [Cf. F. conjecturer. Cf. Conject.] To arrive at by conjecture; to infer on slight evidence; to surmise; to guess; to form, at random, opinions concerning.

Human reason can then, at the best, but conjecture what will be.


Conjecture \Con*jec"ture\, v. i. To make conjectures; to surmise; to guess; to infer; to form an opinion; to imagine.


Conjecture \Con*jec"ture\ (; 135?), n. [L. conjectura, fr. conjicere, conjectum, to throw together, infer, conjecture; con- + jacere to throw: cf. F. conjecturer. See Jet a shooting forth.] An opinion, or judgment, formed on defective or presumptive evidence; probable inference; surmise; guess; suspicion.

He [Herodotus] would thus have corrected his first loose conjecture by a real study of nature.

Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "interpretation of signs and omens," from Old French conjecture "surmise, guess," or directly from Latin coniectura "conclusion, interpretation, guess, inference," literally "a casting together (of facts, etc.)," from coniectus, past participle of conicere "to throw together," from com- "together" (see com-) + iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Sense of "forming of opinion without proof" is 1530s.


early 15c., from conjecture (n.). In Middle English also with a parallel conjecte (n.), conjecten (v.). Related: Conjectured; conjecturing.


n. 1 (context formal English) A statement or an idea which is unproven, but is thought to be true; a guess#Noun. 2 (context formal English) A supposition based upon incomplete evidence; a hypothesis. 3 (context mathematics philology English) A statement likely to be true based on available evidence, but which has not been formally (l en proven). 4 (context obsolete English) interpretation#Noun of signs and omens. vb. (context formal intransitive English) To guess#Verb; to venture an unproven ide

  1. n. a hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or conjecturing (usually with little hard evidence); "speculations about the outcome of the election"; "he dismissed it as mere conjecture" [syn: speculation]

  2. a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence [syn: guess, supposition, surmise, surmisal, speculation, hypothesis]

  3. reasoning that involves the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence

  4. v. to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds; "Scientists supposed that large dinosaurs lived in swamps" [syn: speculate, theorize, theorise, hypothesize, hypothesise, hypothecate, suppose]


In mathematics, a conjecture is a conclusion or proposition based on incomplete information, for which no proof has been found. Conjectures such as the Riemann hypothesis (still a conjecture) or Fermat's Last Theorem (which was a conjecture until proven in 1995) have shaped much of mathematical history as new areas of mathematics are developed in order to prove them.

Conjecture (textual criticism)

Conjecture (conjectural emendation) is a critical reconstruction of the original reading of a clearly corrupt, contaminated, nonsensical or illegible textual fragment. Conjecture is one of the techniques of textual criticism used by philologists while commenting on or preparing editions of manuscripts (e.g. biblical or other ancient texts usually transmitted in medieval copies). Conjecture is far from being just an educated guess and it takes an experienced expert with a broad knowledge of the author of the text, period, language and style of the time. Conjecture requires a close study of the text in its cultural and historical context and must be preceded with a thorough analysis of all extant versions and readings of the given fragment. The knowledge of writing styles used by the scribes throughout the transmission stages is also essential. Conjectural emendation should be seen as a solution of the last resort and must be clearly indicated in the critical apparatus or in the text itself.

Conjecture (convention)

Conjecture is an annual science fiction convention held in and around San Diego, California in the fall. It is sponsored by the San Diego Speculative Fiction Society a California non-profit corporation. Conjecture is a general convention, with a literary emphasis.

The latest convention, Conjecture 2012 was held October 5-7, 2012. This edition of Conjecture was combined with Conchord, a Southern California filk convention. The author guest of honor was Patricia C. Wrede, the artist guest of honor was Laura Reynolds and the music (Conchord) guest of honor was Heather Dale.

The next convention, Conjecture 2013, will be held October 18-20, 2013. The author guest of honor is Esther Friesner and the artist guest of honor is Howard Tayler.

Usage examples of "conjecture".

And this conjecture is the more likely in the light of the later appearance of domesticated fire, not only in the high Neanderthal bear sanctuaries but also in the context of the Ainu bear festivals, where it is identified explicitly with the manifestation of a goddess.

Fabulously early date of evolution, preceding even simplest Archaean protozoa hitherto known, baffles all conjecture as to origin.

That such a force had ever existed within the vicinity in historic times seemed most unlikely, and Tarzan conjectured, therefore, that the wall and the gate were of almost unthinkable antiquity, dating, doubtless, from the forgotten age of the Atlantians, and constructed, perhaps, to protect the builders of the Palace of Diamonds from the well-armed forces that had come from Atlantis to work the gold mines of Opar and to colonize central Africa.

To Madame la Baronne du Guenic: My dear Daughter,--Your aunt Zephirine and I are lost in conjectures about the dressing-table of which you tell us in your letter.

Her face was crimson, her nostrils uncontrollably flared and shrank, and the turbulent swelling of those beautiful bubbies showed unequivocally that this was perhaps the most sincere manifestation she had ever shown in the act of love, or so at least I could conjecture after what she had already disclosed concerning her frustrating marital experiences.

But never did vague conjecture or fruitless fears for the future lie with sufficient weight upon my mind to keep me from my rest, and so tonight I threw myself upon my sleeping silks and furs and passed at once into dreamless slumber.

Russian-born George Gamow, who had worked on the theory of nuclear synthesis in the 1930s and been involved in the Manhattan Project, conjectured that if an atomic bomb could, in a fraction of a millionth of a second, create elements detectable at the test site in the desert years later, then perhaps an explosion on a colossal scale could have produced the elements making up the universe as we know it.

Using the handspeak she had communicated this conjecture to Diarmid, who had rejected it.

Elssbeth Schmid, was a widow with one son when Holbein married her, and has conjectured that she was probably not only older than Holbein, but in circumstances which rendered her independent of her husband.

We may conjecture that the reason is that the lizard like the serpent casts its skin periodically, from which primitive man might infer, as he infers with regard to serpents, that the creature renews its youth and lives for ever.

As these are all things which to a great extent can only be determined on conjectures some of which turn out incorrect, while a number of other arrangements pertaining to details cannot be made at all beforehand, it follows, as a matter of course, that Strategy must go with the Army to the field in order to arrange particulars on the spot, and to make the modifications in the general plan, which incessantly become necessary in War.

What passes in those remote depths-- what beings live, or can live, twelve or fifteen miles beneath the surface of the waters--what is the organisation of these animals, we can scarcely conjecture.

Rostov watched his enemy, the colonel, closely- to find in his face confirmation of his own conjecture, but the colonel did not once glance at Rostov, and looked as he always did when at the front, solemn and stern.

It has been sagaciously conjectured, that the artful legislator indulged the stubborn prejudices of his countrymen.

Lloyds conjectures had fallen very far short of the truth touching Violas feeling for her husband.