Inference is a rational conclusion that has been deduced, or proved, from the presented facts. Specifically, inference is a rule of logic that is normally used for evidence during a trial. Inference is used, or rather functions, when a fact is elucidated, or "proved" by examining other "facts" then then allow one lead to another fact, or reasonable conclusion. A simplistic example would be if A and B are true, then C is. The process is that is used during an inference is known as a "deduction" or "deductive reasoning" and is essentially a persuasive form of circumstantial evidence.
Various court cases all use similar definitions of inference.
The Supreme Court of Alabama in 2012 in Black Warrior Elec. Membership Corp. v. McCarter defined inference as a reasonable deduction of fact, unknown or unproved, from a fact that is known or proved.
The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division in 2011, defined an "inference" as a factual conclusion that can rationally be drawn by considering other facts.
[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]