[ noun ] (psychology,logic) the reasoning involved in drawing a conclusion or making a logical judgment on the basis of circumstantial evidence and prior conclusions rather than on the basis of direct observation
Used in print(U.S. Reports. Volume 366. Cases Adjudged in the...)
The inference is overwhelming that du_Pont 's commanding position was promoted by its stock interest and was not gained solely on competitive merit '' .(A.L. Kroeber, "Semantic Contribution of Lexicostatistic...)
But the farther out he moves , the thinner will be his hold on conclusive evidence , and the larger the speculative component in his inferences .