Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 19, 2021 is:

conjecture • kun-JEK-cher  • verb

1 : to arrive at or deduce by surmise or guesswork : guess

2 : to form a supposition or inference


Some scientists have conjectured that Jupiter’s moon Europa could sustain life.

“He conjectured that the quick-sprouting barley would hold the sands through the winter and spring. This would give time for the lupine to establish itself, further stabilizing the dunes through the summer and following winter.” — Gary Kamiya, The San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Sept. 2020

Did you know?

When the noun conjecture entered English in the 14th century, it referred to the act of interpreting signs or omens especially to make prognostications. That sense is now obsolete, but by the 16th century both the noun and verb conjecture had acquired the meanings of speculation and inference that we use today. Conjecture derives via Middle English and Middle French from the Latin verb conicere (“to throw together”), a combination of com- (“together”) and jacere (“to throw”).

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