Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun ques·tion \ˈkwes-chən, ˈkwesh-\

Simple Definition of question

  • : a sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information or is used to test someone's knowledge

  • : a matter or problem that is being discussed : a subject or topic

  • : doubt or uncertainty about something

Full Definition of question

  1. 1 a (1) :  an interrogative expression often used to test knowledge (2) :  an interrogative sentence or clause b :  a subject or aspect in dispute or open for discussion :  issue; broadly :  problem, matter c (1) :  a subject or point of debate or a proposition to be voted on in a meeting (2) :  the bringing of such to a vote d :  the specific point at issue

  2. 2 a :  an act or instance of asking :  inquiry b :  interrogation; also :  a judicial or official investigation c :  torture as part of an examination d (1) :  objection, dispute <true beyond question> (2) :  room for doubt or objection <little question of his skill> (3) :  chance, possibility <no question of escape>

Examples of question

  1. Can I ask you a personal question?

  2. I don't understand the question.

  3. Are there any more questions?

  4. In answer to your question, our next meeting will be on Friday.

  5. The essay questions on the test were easy.

  6. There are 10 multiple-choice questions on the exam.

  7. The exam included several questions on current events.

  8. The question arose as to who would be responsible for caring for our grandmother.

  9. I expected him to ask where I worked, but the question never came up.

  10. The key question in solving the mystery is, how did the murderer enter the house?

Origin of question

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin quaestion-, quaestio, from quaerere to seek, ask

First Known Use: 14th century



verb ques·tion

Simple Definition of question

  • : to ask (someone) questions about something

  • : to have or express doubt about (something)

Full Definition of question

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to ask a question of or about

  3. 2 :  to interrogate intensively :  cross-examine

  4. 3 a :  doubt, dispute b :  to subject to analysis :  examine

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to ask questions :  inquire

ques·tion·er noun

Examples of question

  1. The reporter questioned her at length on her life as the First Lady.

  2. The witness was questioned by the defense.

  3. I could tell that she was questioning my decision.

  4. He began to question his ability to do the job.

  5. I trusted him and I never questioned what he told me.

  6. The lawyer questioned the truth of the witness's statement.

  7. He began to question whether the things she had said were really true.

15th Century

First Known Use of question

15th century

Synonym Discussion of question

ask, question, interrogate, query, inquire mean to address a person in order to gain information. ask implies no more than the putting of a question <ask for directions>. question usually suggests the asking of series of questions <questioned them about every detail of the trip>. interrogate suggests formal or official systematic questioning <the prosecutor interrogated the witness all day>. query implies a desire for authoritative information or confirmation <queried a librarian about the book>. inquire implies a searching for facts or for truth often specifically by asking questions <began to inquire of friends and teachers what career she should pursue>.

ask, request, solicit mean to seek to obtain by making one's wants known. ask implies no more than the statement of the desire <ask a favor of a friend>. request implies greater formality and courtesy <requests the pleasure of your company>. solicit suggests a calling attention to one's wants or desires by public announcement or advertisement <a letter soliciting information>.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up question? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.