- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Guess \Guess\ (g[e^]s), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Guessed; p. pr. & vb. n. Guessing.] [OE. gessen; akin to Dan. gisse, Sw. gissa, Icel. gizha, D. gissen: cf. Dan. giette to guess, Icel. geta to get, to guess. Probably originally, to try to get, and akin to E. get. See Get.] 1. To form an opinion concerning, without knowledge or means of knowledge; to judge of at random; to conjecture. [1913 Webster] First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess. --Pope. [1913 Webster] 2. To judge or form an opinion of, from reasons that seem preponderating, but are not decisive. [1913 Webster] We may then guess how far it was from his design. --Milton. [1913 Webster] Of ambushed men, whom, by their arms and dress, To be Taxallan enemies I guess. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 3. To solve by a correct conjecture; to conjecture rightly; as, he who guesses the riddle shall have the ring; he has guessed my designs. [1913 Webster] 4. To hit upon or reproduce by memory. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Tell me their words, as near as thou canst guess them. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 5. To think; to suppose; to believe; to imagine; -- followed by an objective clause. [1913 Webster] Not all together; better far, I guess, That we do make our entrance several ways. --Shak. [1913 Webster] But in known images of life I guess The labor greater. --Pope. Syn: To conjecture; suppose; surmise; suspect; divine; think; imagine; fancy. Usage: To Guess, Think, Reckon. Guess denotes, to attempt to hit upon at random; as, to guess at a thing when blindfolded; to conjecture or form an opinion on hidden or very slight grounds: as, to guess a riddle; to guess out the meaning of an obscure passage. The use of the word guess for think or believe, although abundantly sanctioned by good English authors, is now regarded as antiquated and objectionable by discriminating writers. It may properly be branded as a colloguialism and vulgarism when used respecting a purpose or a thing about which there is no uncertainty; as, I guess I 'll go to bed. [1913 Webster]