What is the difference between Imply and Infer?

Here are two more words that are commonly confused and misused. Both are related to information being communicated in a subtle or indirect way.


This means to hint at or suggest indirectly.

-She implied that she was displeased with the present.


This means to deduce or  to conclude from the evidence.

-He inferred from her tone that she was unhappy with the gift.

In short, a speaker implies, a listener infers. (Or, if preferred, a writer implies, a reader infers.)