Meaning of “guess” in the English Dictionary

"guess" in British English

See all translations

guessverb [ I or T ]

uk /ɡes/ us /ɡes/

A2 to give an answer to a particular question when you do not have all the facts and so cannot be certain if you are correct:

I didn't know the answer, so I had to guess.
On the last question, she guessed right/wrong.
[ + question word ] Guess when this was built.
[ + (that) ] I guessed (that) she was your sister.
She asked me to guess her age.
I guessed the total amount to be about £50,000.

A2 to give the correct answer or make the correct judgment:

[ + question word ] I bet you can't guess how old he is.
She guessed the answer on her first try.
"You have a new job, don't you?" "Yes, how did you guess?"
guess what? A2 informal

used before telling someone something interesting or surprising:

Guess what? We won the game 4–0.
I guess B1 informal

used when you believe something is true or likely but are not certain:

[ + (that) ] I guess (that) things are pretty hard for you now.

More examples

Phrasal verb(s)

guessnoun [ C ]

uk /ɡes/ us /ɡes/

B1 an attempt to give the right answer when you are not certain if you are correct:

Go on - have/make a guess.
Both teams made some wild guesses (= made without much thought), none of which were right.

someone's opinion about something that is formed without any knowledge of the situation:

"I wonder why she's not here." "My guess is that her car has broken down."
be anyone's guess

If a piece of information is anyone's guess, no one knows it:

"So what's going to happen now?" "That's anyone's guess."

More examples

(Definition of “guess” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"guess" in American English

See all translations

guessverb [ I/T ]

us /ɡes/

to give an answer to a question when you do not have all the facts and so cannot be certain if you are right:

[ I ] I didn’t know the answer, so I had to guess.
[ + (that) clause ] He guessed (that) she was about 50.

To guess can also mean to give the correct answer:

[ T ] She guessed the right answer.

To guess also means to think or believe:

[ T ] My plane leaves in an hour, so I guess I’d better be going.
[ T ] "Is he going to call you back?" "I guess so."

guessnoun [ C ]

us /ɡes/

an attempt to give the right answer when you are not certain if you are right:

Go on, take a guess.

Someone’s guess is also an opinion about something, formed without any knowledge of the situation:

I don’t know why she’s late, but my guess is she got off at the wrong exit.

(Definition of “guess” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)