\ ˈdau̇t How to pronounce doubt (audio) \
doubted; doubting; doubts

Definition of doubt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic

a : fear I doubt I have been beguiled— Sir Walter Scott
b : suspect
2 : to call into question the truth of : to be uncertain or in doubt about He doubts everyone's word.
3a : to lack confidence in : distrust find myself doubting him even when I know that he is honest— H. L. Mencken
b : to consider unlikely I doubt if I can go



Definition of doubt (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : uncertainty of belief or opinion that often interferes with decision-making
b : a deliberate suspension of judgment
2 : a state of affairs giving rise to uncertainty, hesitation, or suspense the outcome is still in doubt
3a : a lack of confidence : distrust has doubts about his abilities
b : an inclination not to believe or accept a claim met with doubt
no doubt

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Other Words from doubt


doubtable \ ˈdau̇-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce doubtable (audio) \ adjective
doubter noun
doubtingly \ ˈdau̇-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce doubtingly (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for doubt


uncertainty, doubt, dubiety, skepticism, suspicion, mistrust mean lack of sureness about someone or something. uncertainty may range from a falling short of certainty to an almost complete lack of conviction or knowledge especially about an outcome or result. assumed the role of manager without hesitation or uncertainty doubt suggests both uncertainty and inability to make a decision. plagued by doubts as to what to do dubiety stresses a wavering between conclusions. felt some dubiety about its practicality skepticism implies unwillingness to believe without conclusive evidence. an economic forecast greeted with skepticism suspicion stresses lack of faith in the truth, reality, fairness, or reliability of something or someone. regarded the stranger with suspicion mistrust implies a genuine doubt based upon suspicion. had a great mistrust of doctors

Examples of doubt in a Sentence


I have always doubted the existence of life on other planets. No one doubts that the mission will be a success. I seriously doubt my parents will let me go. “Do you think you can come tonight?” “I doubt it.” She doubted his ability to succeed. He said he could do it, but I couldn't help doubting him.


I still have moments of doubt. There can be little doubt that smoking is bad for your health. I had a nagging doubt in the back of my mind.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In Mayfield’s case, motivation is generated by a chip on his shoulder that is constantly changing depending on the next opponent and what that opponent might have said to doubt Mayfield., "Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield has a boulder on his shoulder: Crowquill," 14 July 2019 Around 3 in 10 Indians doubt the efficacy of online news. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Fake news-wary urban Indians trust their inner circle—and government mouthpieces—the most," 3 July 2019 Those old Warriors never doubted their own star power. Mike Finger,, "As Warriors go haywire, Kerr turns to inner Pop," 7 June 2019 Some economists doubted that consumer spending can continue to drive the economy higher at this rate. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Slowing to a 2.1% annual growth rate, Trump’s economy comes off its sugar high," 26 July 2019 Skeptics doubted that the administration’s unilateral sanctions could truly bite after the nuclear deal opened Iran for business with Europe. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 25 July 2019 Both representatives doubted that the Senate would convict the president. Luke Johnson, Fortune, "Mueller Hearing Changes Few Democratic Minds on Impeachment," 25 July 2019 As someone who was still serving on a UCI athlete commission, Slappendel doubted the ability of the sport’s leadership to fix the problems. Rachel Sturtz, Outside Online, "Meet the Billie Jean King of Cycling," 24 July 2019 The actress, 39, doubts the beloved comedy, which ran on NBC from 2005 to 2013, will have a reboot. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Ellie Kemper has 'sad answer' about 'Office' reboot, hopes for another possibility," 19 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pace’s pursuit of Ravens backup kicker Kaare Vedvik confirmed those doubts. David Haugh,, "Column: Matt Nagy has earned the right to play Mitch Trubisky and other Bears regulars as little as possible in preseason games," 11 Aug. 2019 The Chicago White Sox continue to be a team on the precipice of success, though with each passing year, doubt creeps in. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Kansas City Royals are ahead of Detroit Tigers in rebuild phase, too," 11 Aug. 2019 The effects of plastic The Ministry of Health’s Tibi has no doubt that the work of people like Wissam Adel, 15—who spends his days picking through piles of trash at a rancid-smelling landfill—is hurting his long-term health. Heidi Levine, National Geographic, "Plastics in the Gaza Strip are both a curse and a blessing," 7 Aug. 2019 Until recently, assessments of negotiations have been optimistic, but thanks in part to GOP demands for riders protecting free speech on campus, talks have stalled and people close to them now express doubts. Roger Sollenberger, The New Republic, "Higher Education Faces a Turning Point," 5 Aug. 2019 Arlene's mom, Denise Aguilera, 31, safely reunited with her children later that night, but the shootings left indelible doubts in her mind. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "'Mom, it's happening again!' Two mass shootings leave El Paso residents wondering if anywhere is safe," 5 Aug. 2019 However, detectives who interviewed him had doubts, in part because of scratches on his neck and dried blood on his hands. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Newport Beach fugitive charged in wife’s 2012 killing is captured," 5 Aug. 2019 But Wayne was in seemingly great health Saturday, his spirit no doubt buoyed by the incredible massive crowd laid out before him — yes, larger even than for Childish Gambino Friday, or Twenty One Pilots and McCartney back in 2015. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lollapalooza 2019: Lil Wayne and J. Balvin make history on day 3 — and Balvin brings out Wisin y Yandel," 4 Aug. 2019 A few days after publicly clapping back at breakup rumors, Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse are leaving no room for doubt about their love. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Lili Reinhart Shared a Poem for Cole Sprouse's Birthday," 4 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doubt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of doubt


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for doubt

Verb and Noun

Middle English douten, from Anglo-French duter, douter, from Latin dubitare to be in doubt; akin to Latin dubius dubious

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Statistics for doubt

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for doubt

The first known use of doubt was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for doubt



English Language Learners Definition of doubt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be uncertain about (something) : to believe that (something) may not be true or is unlikely
: to have no confidence in (someone or something)



English Language Learners Definition of doubt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feeling of being uncertain or unsure about something


\ ˈdau̇t How to pronounce doubt (audio) \
doubted; doubting

Kids Definition of doubt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be uncertain about I doubt he's right.
2 : to lack confidence in I doubted my own judgment.
3 : to consider unlikely I doubt I can go tonight.



Kids Definition of doubt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a feeling of being uncertain Their predicament filled her with doubt.
2 : a reason for disbelief There can be no doubt that you have a most unusual pig.— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web
3 : the condition of being undecided Our plans are now in doubt.
4 : a lack of trust I have my doubts about this explanation.

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More from Merriam-Webster on doubt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doubt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for doubt

Spanish Central: Translation of doubt

Nglish: Translation of doubt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of doubt for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about doubt

Comments on doubt

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