conjecture

Definitions

  • Jamestown house types: simple frame, half-timber, brick, and row. (Conjectural sketches by Sidney E. King.)
    Jamestown house types: simple frame, half-timber, brick, and row. (Conjectural sketches by Sidney E. King.)
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v conjecture to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds "Scientists supposed that large dinosaurs lived in swamps"
    • n conjecture reasoning that involves the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence
    • n conjecture 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"
    • n conjecture a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Making pottery at Jamestown. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) Making pottery at Jamestown. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
An early Jamestown house. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) An early Jamestown house. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
A brick house at Jamestown, about 1640. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) A brick house at Jamestown, about 1640. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
The interior of a small Jamestown house, about 1650. Although the painting is conjectural, many items shown—pottery, glassware, fireplace tools, and kitchen accessories—were unearthed on this historic island. (Painting by Sidney E. King.) The interior of a small Jamestown house, about 1650. Although the painting is conjectural, many items shown—pottery,...
A family enjoying a meal, about 1650. Many of the eating and drinking vessels portrayed, together with much of the tableware, are types which have been excavated. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) A family enjoying a meal, about 1650. Many of the eating and drinking vessels portrayed, together with much of the...
The pewter spoon handle at the top, unearthed at Jamestown, is the oldest dated piece of American pewter in existence. It was made by Joseph Copeland of Chuckatuck, Va., in 1675. The spoon on the bottom is a conjectural restoration of Copeland’s specimen The pewter spoon handle at the top, unearthed at Jamestown, is the oldest dated piece of American pewter in...
Making “trialls” of iron. Evidences of an earth oven or small furnace were discovered at Jamestown during archeological explorations. Small amounts of iron may have been smelted in the furnace during the early years of the settlement. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) Making “trialls” of iron. Evidences of an earth oven or small furnace were discovered at Jamestown during...
Blowing glass at Jamestown in 1608. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) Blowing glass at Jamestown in 1608. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Conjecture 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."
    • v. t Conjecture 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."
    • v. i Conjecture To make conjectures; to surmise; to guess; to infer; to form an opinion; to imagine.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n conjecture The act of forming an opinion without definite proof; a supposition made to account for an ascertained state of things, but as yet unverified; an opinion formed on insufficient presumptive evidence; a surmise; a guess.
    • n conjecture Suspicious surmise; derogatory supposition or presumption.
    • n conjecture Synonyms Supposition, hypothesis, theory.
    • conjecture To form (an opinion or notion) upon probabilities or upon slight evidence; guess: generally governing a clause.
    • conjecture Synonyms Imagine, Conjecture, Surmise, Guess, Presume, fancy, divine. Imagine literally expresses pure speculation, and figuratively expresses an idea founded upon the slightest evidence: as, I imagine that you will find yourself mistaken. Conjecture is something like a random throw of the mind; it turns from one possibility to another, and perhaps selects one, almost arbitrarily. Surmise has often the same sense as conjecture; it sometimes implies a suspicion, favorable or otherwise: as, I surmise that his motives were not good. Guess suggests a riddle, the solution of which is felt after by the mind—a question, as to which we offer an opinion, but not with confidence, because the material for a judgment is confessedly insufficient. To presume is to base a tentative or provisional opinion on such knowledge as one has, to be held until it is modified or overthrown by further information.
    • conjecture To form conjectures; surmise; guess.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Conjecture kon-jekt′ūr a forecast: an opinion formed on slight or defective evidence: an opinion without proof: a guess: an idea
    • v.t Conjecture to make conjectures regarding: to infer on slight evidence: to guess
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Quotations

  • William Hazlitt
    William%20Hazlitt
    “You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. conjectura, fr. conjicere, conjectum, to throw together, infer, conjecture; con-, + jacere, to throw: cf. F. conjecturer,. See Jet a shooting forth

Usage

In literature:

But these conjectures do not require to be continued.
"The Cliff Climbers" by Captain Mayne Reid
Arriving upon the little platform, the pursuers at once discovered the cavity, at the same time conjecturing that the pursued had gone into it.
"The Lone Ranche" by Captain Mayne Reid
What the trouble was, I did not know, but I suspected that it was the whispered conjectures in regard to the ha'nt.
"The Four Pools Mystery" by Jean Webster
He at once conjectured that Jack had managed somehow or other to get into her.
"From Powder Monkey to Admiral" by W.H.G. Kingston
But this is merely conjecture.
"The Three Admirals" by W.H.G. Kingston
Conjecture was at its busy work.
"Rattlin the Reefer" by Edward Howard
He fired at the spot where he conjectured the rider must be, and a yell told that he had not missed his mark.
"The Settler and the Savage" by R.M. Ballantyne
Again and again the narrative was repeated, till conjecture once more began to take the place of assertion.
"The Mark Of Cain" by Andrew Lang
We must, however, at certain points in anthropological inquiry have recourse to the conjectural method.
"Folklore as an Historical Science" by George Laurence Gomme
Mr. Sandys, who cites this curious entry, rightly conjectures it may have included incidental expenses.
"The Violin" by George Hart
I've heard so, and I believe it: many things combine for me to form this conjecture.
"The Comedies of Terence" by Publius Terentius Afer, (AKA) Terence
Before daring a conjecture I must discover what business Cragg is engaged in.
"Mary Louise in the Country" by L. Frank Baum (AKA Edith Van Dyne)
The chemical conditions under which gold is thus deposited are still conjectural.
"Impressions of South Africa" by James Bryce
This is an unlucky conjecture.
"James VI and the Gowrie Mystery" by Andrew Lang
I happened to be awake, and could not conjecture what the rumpus meant.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
And the next half-hour plunged M. le Duc into a perfect labyrinth of surmises, conjectures, doubts and fears.
"Petticoat Rule" by Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
We did not know what to make of this figure, whom we now conjectured to have come in quest of the shipwrecked stranger.
"Willing to Die" by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
I have observed that the so-called case is built up entirely on conjecture.
"The Ivory Gate, a new edition" by Walter Besant
What had happened they did not try to conjecture, but immediately inquired.
"Shorter Novels, Eighteenth Century" by Samuel Johnson
They have no need for conjecture, nor are they long left to it.
"Gwen Wynn" by Mayne Reid
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In poetry:

What it is, in conjecture;
Seeking much, but nothing finding;
Like to fancy's architecture
With illusions reason blinding.
"A Quarrel With Love" by Nicholas Breton
Said the starling, "conjectured 'twas so;
It must of necessity follow:
For more moss, straw, and feathers, I know,
It requires, to be soft, round, and hollow."
"The Magpie's Nest, Or A Lesson Of Docility" by Charles Lamb
I know not; I conjecture. 'Twas a girl
That with her own most gentle desperate hand
From out God's mystic setting plucked life's pearl--
'Tis hard to understand.
"Broken Music" by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Behind the veil of burning silence bound,
vast life's innumerous busy littleness
is hush'd in vague-conjectured blur of sound
that dulls the brain with slumbrous weight, unless
"Fire in the Heavens" by Christopher Brennan
He, entering at the study door,
Its ample area 'gan explore;
And something in the wind
Conjectured, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food chiefly for the mind.
"On The Death Of Mrs. Throckmorton's Bullfinch" by William Cowper
BLUE-NOSE
Many things thou askest, jackknife-bearing stranger,
Much-conjecturing mortal, pork-and-treacle-waster!
Pretermit thy whittling, wheel thine ear-flap toward me,
Thou shall hear them answered.
"De Sauty" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

In news:

Which – if any – of the three actually coined the phrase is a matter of conjecture, but it's validity is not.
"Remarkable Creatures," Tracy Chevalier 's sixth novel, undertakes just such a historical resurrection of early-19th-century England, at the dawn of evolutionary thought, spinning up the myriad gossamer strings of conjecture.
The link between hatred of Jews and of the only Jewish state often requires little conjecture.
From Conjecture to Consumer at Warp Speed: Emerging Optical Technologies.
Of Various Veepsters, and the Christie Conjecture .
Conjecture on Powell pours salt on wounds.
The Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) has awarded Grigoriy Perelman of St Petersburg, Russia, its $1 million Millennium Prize for resolution of the Poincaré conjecture (pdf).
Riemann conjectured that these key signposts—"zeros" of the function—all lie on a single straight line out to infinity, that none are flung off in strange places.
Conjecture Embraced As Fact.
As in the case of Fermat's last theorem, centuries of effort may go into proving such tantalizing, deceptively simple conjectures in number theory.
More than 300 years ago, Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665) conjectured that the equation has no solution if x, y, and z are all positive integers and n is a whole number greater than 2.
Four mathematicians have now extended this aspect of Wiles' work, offering a proof of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture for all elliptic curves rather than just a particular subset of such curves .
In 1637, French mathematician Pierre de Fermat jotted a cryptic conjecture in the margins of a textbook.
That's why it's called rumor and conjecture.
I'm not one for Rumor and Conjecture.but.
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In science:

Clearly, this conjecture implies the reconstruction conjecture.
Eigenvectors and Reconstruction
Based on this computation for 2 degrees of freedom we make the following conjecture: Conjecture: The Toda lattice is super–integrable.
Multiple Hamiltonian structure of Bogoyavlensky-Toda lattices
It also has a close connection to the variance hypothesis (which conjectures an upper bound for all isotropic convex bodies), suggesting that polytopes might be the limiting case of that conjecture.
Dispersion of Mass and the Complexity of Randomized Geometric Algorithms
Together with the isotropic constant conjecture, it implies Conjecture 1.
Dispersion of Mass and the Complexity of Randomized Geometric Algorithms
This implies that Gal’s conjecture (Conjecture 2.3) holds for this class of flag simple polytopes.
Faces of Generalized Permutohedra
With the universality principle, it is reasonable to conjecture that this estimate holds for the random Bernoulli matrix Mn as well (see for an even more precise conjecture).
Random Discrete Matrices
Basor and Tracy [BT91] provided a series of counterexamples to the Fisher-Hartwig conjecture and stated a generalized conjecture.
Asymptotics of Toeplitz determinants generated by functions with Fourier coefficients in weighted Orlicz sequence classes
In fact, this conjecture is a geometric generalization of an equivalent version to the following well known conjecture, as will be explained below.
Multiplicities of simple closed geodesics and hypersurfaces in Teichm\"uller space
Conjecture 2. (Markoff conjecture) The Markoff conjecture is a conjecture in classical number theory.
Multiplicities of simple closed geodesics and hypersurfaces in Teichm\"uller space
There is an equivalent conjecture to the Markoff conjecture which concerns simple closed geodesics on M.
Multiplicities of simple closed geodesics and hypersurfaces in Teichm\"uller space
In view of this observation, one is led to consider the following plausible generalization of the Markoff isometry property conjecture: Conjecture 4.
Multiplicities of simple closed geodesics and hypersurfaces in Teichm\"uller space
Notice that this conjecture is implied by a generalization to one-holed tori of Schmutz-Schaller’s conjecture mentioned above.
Multiplicities of simple closed geodesics and hypersurfaces in Teichm\"uller space
By applying the analysis used to prove Theorem 1.1, we shall see that this conjecture is in fact false, and thus a generalized version of Schmutz-Schaller’s conjecture is also false.
Multiplicities of simple closed geodesics and hypersurfaces in Teichm\"uller space
This means that the original Markoff conjecture is (probably) a conjecture in pure number theory and not tractable by hyperbolic geometry arguments.
Multiplicities of simple closed geodesics and hypersurfaces in Teichm\"uller space
The dynamical systems billiard conjecture can be viewed as the ‘dual formulation’ of the cosmological billiard conjecture by Damour, Hennaux, and Nicolai .
The cosmological billiard attractor
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