Skip to main content

Suggest vs Imply vs Hint vs Intimate vs Insinuate

Suggestimplyhintintimateinsinuate can all mean to convey an idea or the thought of something by indirect means.

Suggest emphasizes a putting into the mind as the result of an association of ideas, an awakening of a desire, or an initiating of a train of thought.

Imply (see also INCLUDE ) is in general opposed to express ; the term stresses a suggesting, or putting into the mind, of an idea, a thought, or a meaning that is involved in a statement, an action, a situation, or a word and forms a part, but not necessarily an obvious part, of its full signification or significance.

Very often the difference between suggest and imply is not clear, though suggest often connotes the necessity of delicate perception and imply connotes the need of inference.

Hint implies the use of a remote or covert suggestion and often also connotes lack of candor, frankness, or straightforwardness.

Intimate frequently implies a lighter or more elusive suggestion than hint but it connotes delicacy of approach rather than lack of candor or frankness.

Insinuate (see INTRODUCE 2 ) implies an artful hinting or a conveying, especially of an unpleasant or depreciative suggestion, in an underhanded or devious manner.