Inference vs interference

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Inference and interference are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of inference and interference, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

An inference is a conclusion or deduction based upon evidence, particularly indirect evidence. Inference is a noun, first used around the turn of the seventeenth century, to describe the act of inferring. Inference is derived from the Latin word inferentem meaning to bring in or to deduce.

Interference is intervening in a situation where it is not necessary or inserting oneself in a situation where one is not wanted, meddling. Interference may also mean the static a radio produces when intercepted by another transmission. Interference is a mass noun, which is an uncountable noun that does not have a plural form. The word interference first appeared in the 1780s as a derivative of the word interfere, modeled on words such as differ and difference.


“The evidence also supports the inference that in avoiding his duty (Upjohn) was knowingly untrustworthy, and that his purpose in breaching his duty was not for the public good,” Rupic writes. (The Toronto Star)

The inevitable inference is that when the United States and China collide, as history suggests is quite likely, Beijing will come out on top. (The Boston Globe)

Saudi Arabia’s government reiterated its rejection of what it called Canadian “interference” in the kingdom’s internal affairs, Saudi state TV reported on Tuesday. (U.S. News & World Report)

The Editors Guild of India on Wednesday issued a statement condemning the “government interference in independent functioning of journalists” and “increasingly challenging environment for the press” in the country.  (Greater Kashmir)