I am looking for a verb that describes one's thinking (or judgment) by first impression, or impression without further inquiry. Many thanks

  • 1
    It could be prejudge. – mama Feb 11 at 13:59
  • Arr you looking for a one-word equivalent to "have a knee-jerk reaction"? That idiom may be so common because one word to cover it isn't in the common vernacular. At least, that's my quick take on it. – remarkl Feb 11 at 14:09
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    It could be "instinct", and another phrase is "gut reaction" although neither is a verb. – Weather Vane Feb 11 at 15:08
  • My first impression is that you need to clarify the question. Could be "impression", "snap judgement", "thumb suck", et al, but each carries a different nuance, and you've given us no idea as to what nuance you want to convey. – Hot Licks Mar 13 at 22:19

Best thing I can think of for this is intuit:

Intuit (v)

to know, sense, or understand by intuition

Used something like this:

Johnny intuited that the apple would be delicious from it's perfect appearance. Unfortunately, it tasted like cardboard.


That's to surmise. When one relies only on a cursory impression the evidence is neither strong nor certain, even if the judgment or inference turns out to be correct.

But, as a native speaker, I expect this sense of surmise is likely to be misunderstood. I'd prefer a phrase, such as draw a conclusion offhand.

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