doubt

verb
\ˈdau̇t \

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

doubt

noun

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

Verb

doubtable \ ˈdau̇-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
doubter noun
doubtingly \ -​tiŋ-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for doubt

Noun

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

Verb

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.

Noun

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

Some of the increases may be the result of better reporting by police departments, but law enforcement officials and advocacy groups don’t doubt that hate crimes are on the rise. Michael Balsamo, The Seattle Times, "FBI report shows 17 percent spike in hate crimes in 2017," 13 Nov. 2018 So don’t doubt Croatia’s readiness to outclass France, and parade the World Cup trophy around Zagreb, of all places. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 Even years after Jones engineered the November 1978 massacre of more than 900 persons in Guyana, Thrash did not doubt his healing abilities. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "She woke up in Jonestown — everyone was dead," 13 July 2018 But there’s no reason to doubt Paltrow’s ability to evolve with the times. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Has Gwyneth Paltrow’s Secret Hamptons Wedding Been Torpedoed?," 20 June 2018 Salvini campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform that included a vow to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants already in Italy, even though experts doubt such mass deportations are feasible or financially viable. Nicole Winfield And Aritz Parra, The Christian Science Monitor, "Spain offers to accept migrant ship after Italy, Malta refuse," 11 June 2018 While some people doubted the change would go through, IHOb doubled down late last week: The company both changed its Twitter handle and propped up signs with the new logo. Ben Tobin, USA TODAY, "IHOP becomes IHOb, with 'b' for burgers," 11 June 2018 While some people doubted the change would go through, IHOP doubled down late last week: The company both changed its Twitter handle and propped up signs with the new logo. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "IHOP changes to IHOb: The reason why — and if it'll stick," 11 June 2018 Other bee cognition experts, however, doubt that this experiment definitively proves bees get the zero concept. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "Bees May Understand Zero, a Concept That Took Humans Millennia to Grasp," 9 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Orioles have little doubt his bat will have an impact at the major league level. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles prospects Mountcastle, Wells named to play in All-Star Futures Game," 6 July 2018 Companies with endorsement deals with McCoy are no doubt also closely monitoring the situation. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Potential Legal Ramifications of the Disturbing Accusations Against LeSean McCoy," 11 July 2018 Kavanaugh interviewed witnesses, forensic experts and a medical examiner and concluded there was no doubt Foster had killed himself. Michael Kranish And Ann E. Marimow, BostonGlobe.com, "From Clinton to Trump: How Brett Kavanaugh navigated through some of Washington’s biggest scandals," 10 July 2018 Kavanaugh interviewed witnesses, forensic experts and a medical examiner and concluded there was no doubt Foster had killed himself. Ann E. Marimow, The Seattle Times, "From Clinton to Trump: How Kavanaugh navigated through some of Washington’s biggest scandals," 9 July 2018 There was no doubt at that point that Colon (5-5) was one step closer to reaching his ultimate goal. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Colon one win shy of MLB milestone," 1 July 2018 As seemingly the only member of Markle’s immediate family who has not spoken about her—or indeed betrayed or trashed her—in the media, Ragland is no doubt weighing the decision of who to speak with (or whether to speak at all) quite carefully. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "What Exactly Is Going On Between American Royals Doria Ragland and Oprah?," 12 June 2018 But there's no doubt China has tried to step into the global leadership position Trump has ceded for the US. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "Trump's new world order," 11 June 2018 Calculating the economic impact of sporting trophies is hard, but there can be little doubt that a victory could be worth more in terms of positive publicity for Croatia than years of splurging on global PR campaigns. The Economist, "Croatia stands on the cusp of World Cup victory," 13 July 2018

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

Verb

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

Noun

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

History and Etymology for doubt

Verb

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

Noun

see doubt entry 1

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Statistics for doubt

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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

doubt

verb

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)

doubt

noun

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

: a feeling of being uncertain or unsure about something

doubt

verb
\ˈdau̇t \
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.

doubt

noun

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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Comments on doubt

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