AskDefine | Define suggest

Dictionary Definition



1 make a proposal, declare a plan for something [syn: propose, advise]
2 imply as a possibility; "The evidence suggests a need for more clarification" [syn: intimate]
3 drop a hint; intimate by a hint [syn: hint]
4 suggest the necessity of an intervention; in medicine; "Tetracycline is indicated in such cases" [syn: indicate] [ant: contraindicate]
5 call to mind or evoke [syn: evoke, paint a picture]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /səˈdʒɛst/, /səgˈdʒɛst/ /s@"dZEst/, /s@g"dZEst/
  • Rhymes: -ɛst


  1. To imply but stop short of saying explicitly.
    Are you suggesting that I killed my wife?
  2. To make one suppose; cause one to suppose (something)
    The name "hamburger" suggests that hamburgers originated from Hamburg.
  3. To ask for without demanding.
    I’d like to suggest that we go out to lunch.

Usage notes


  • (imply but stop short of saying explicitly): hint, imply
  • (ask for without demanding): propose

Derived terms


imply but stop short of saying explicitly See imply
make one suppose
ask for without demanding

Extensive Definition

Suggestion is the name given to the psychological process by which one person may guide the thoughts, feelings or behaviour of another. For nineteenth century writers on psychology such as William James the words "suggest" and "suggestion" were used in senses very close to those which they have in common speech; one idea was said to suggest another when it brought that other idea to mind. Early scientific studies of hypnosis by scientists such as Clark Leonard Hull led to the extension of the meaning of these words in a special and technical sense (Hull, 1933).
Modern scientific study of hypnosis, which has followed the pattern of Hull's work, separates two essential factors: "trance" and suggestion (Heap, 1996). The state of mind induced by "trance" is said to come about via the process of a hypnotic induction; essentially instructions and suggestions that an individual will enter a hypnotic state. Once a subject has entered hypnosis, suggestions are given which can produce the effects sought by the hypnotist. Commonly used suggestions on measures of "suggestibility" or "susceptibility" (or, for those with a different theoretical orientation, "hypnotic talent") include suggestions that one's arm is getting lighter and floating up in the air, or the suggestion that a fly is buzzing around your head. The "classic" response to an accepted suggestion that one's arm is beginning to float in the air is that the subject perceives the intended effect as happening involuntarily (Weitzenhoffer, 1980).
Suggestions, however, can also have an effect in the absence of a hypnosis. These so-called "waking suggestions" are given in precisely the same way as "hypnotic suggestions" (i.e., suggestions given within hypnosis) and can produce strong changes in perceptual experience. Experiments on suggestion, in the absence of hypnosis, were conducted by early researchers such as Hull (1933). More recently, researchers such as Nicholas Spanos and Irving Kirsch have conducted experiments investigating such non-hypnotic-suggestibility and found a strong correlation between people's responses to suggestion both in- and outside hypnosis (Kirsch & Braffman, 2001).
In addition to the kinds of suggestion typically delivered by researchers interested in hypnosis there are other forms of suggestibility, though not all are considered interrelated. These include: primary and secondary suggestibility (older terms for non-hypnotic and hypnotic suggestibility respectively), hypnotic suggestibility (i.e., the response to suggestion measured within hypnosis), and interrogative suggestibility (yielding to interrogative questions, and shifting responses when interrogative pressure is applied: see Gudjonsson suggestibility scale.


Heap, M. (1996) The nature of hypnosis. The Psychologist, 9 (11), 498-501.
Hull, C. L. (1933/2002). Hypnosis and suggestibility: an experimental approach. Crown House Publishing
Kirsch, I., Braffman, W. (2001). Imaginative suggestibility and hypnotizability. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4(2), 57-61.
Wetizenhoffer, A. M. (1980). Hypnotic susceptibility revisited. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 22, 130-146.
suggest in Czech: Sugesce
suggest in Danish: Suggestion
suggest in German: Suggestion
suggest in French: Suggestion
suggest in Lithuanian: Įtaiga
suggest in Norwegian: Suggesjon
suggest in Russian: Внушение
suggest in Simple English: Suggestion
suggest in Slovak: Sugescia
suggest in Serbian: Сугестија
suggest in Finnish: Suggestio
suggest in Swedish: Suggestion
suggest in Ukrainian: Сугестія

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adumbrate, advance, advert, advise, advocate, allegorize, allude, allude to, ape, appear like, approach, approve, approximate, argue, assume, attest, be construed as, be indicative of, be like, be redolent of, be significant of, be symptomatic of, bear resemblance, bespeak, betoken, bid fair, breathe, brief, bring before, bring forward, bring to mind, bring to recollection, bring up, broach, call to mind, call up, carry back, characterize, coach, come close, come near, commend to attention, compare with, confer, conjecture, connote, consult with, copy, correspond, counsel, counterfeit, demonstrate, denominate, denote, differentiate, direct, disclose, display, drop a hint, entail, evidence, evince, evoke, exhibit, express, favor, follow, furnish evidence, give a hint, give evidence, give indication of, give prospect of, give the cue, give token, glance at, go to show, guide, highlight, hint, hint at, hold out hope, hold the promptbook, identify, illustrate, imagine, imitate, implicate, imply, import, indicate, infer, insinuate, instruct, intimate, introduce, involve, jog the memory, kibitz, launch, lay before, look like, make a motion, make fair promise, make likely, manifest, mark, match, mean, mean to say, meddle, mention, mimic, mirror, moot, move, nag, near, nearly reproduce, not tell apart, note, nudge, offer, offer a resolution, open up, outline, parallel, partake of, point, point indirectly to, point to, pose, postulate, prefer, prescribe, present, presume, presuppose, proffer, promise, prompt, prompt the mind, propose, proposition, propound, put, put forth, put forward, put in mind, put in remembrance, put it to, raise expectation, recall, recommend, refer, refer to, remember, remind, remind one of, resemble, reveal, savor of, seem like, set before, set forth, set forward, shadow forth, show, show signs of, signalize, signify, simulate, sketch, smack of, sound like, speak for itself, speak volumes, spell, stack up with, stand fair to, stand for, start, submit, support, suppose, symbolize, symptomatize, symptomize, take after, take for granted, tell, tend to show, testify, theorize, typify, urge
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1