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

Essential Meaning of doubt

1 : to be uncertain about (something) : to believe that (something) may not be true or is unlikely She began to doubt [=question] everything he said. I have always doubted the existence of life on other planets. See More ExamplesNo 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."Hide
2 : to have no confidence in (someone or something) I began to doubt [=question] my own judgment. She doubted his ability to succeed. He said he could do it, but I couldn't help doubting him.

Full Definition of doubt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call into question the truth of : to be uncertain or in doubt about He doubts everyone's word.
2a : 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.
3 archaic
a : fear … I doubt I have been beguiled!— Sir Walter Scott
b : suspect


plural doubts

Definition of doubt (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from doubt


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

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 Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in a 2020 general election, but the military claimed there was widespread electoral fraud, an assertion that independent poll watchers doubt. NBC News, 10 Jan. 2022 Education for the skilled trades appears to be returning to fashion as a growing number of high school students doubt the value of a four-year college degree. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jan. 2022 And the prospect that the 45th President could return to the White House in 2025 means many foreign powers doubt Biden's promise that America is back. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 29 Dec. 2021 But critics doubt the military is serious about eventually ceding control, noting that the coup came just weeks before Burhan was supposed to hand over the leadership of the top ruling body, the Sovereign Council, to a civilian., 27 Oct. 2021 Few people doubt that most ICO offerings were securities within the SEC’s remit. Steven Ehrlich, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 But even if such large deals occur, analysts doubt China can meet its commitments by the end of the year. Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2021 And in regions that produce high-end, high-price wine, growers doubt that a machine can do the job as well as a human. Ian Lovett, WSJ, 3 Oct. 2021 Officials doubt there is a risk to public health at this time, but further testing is underway. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There is no doubt in Henry’s mind what needs to be done. Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2022 There's little doubt that Apple has been looking into foldable phones. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 10 Jan. 2022 Like: There is no doubt that owning a ski with these dimensions can make the best days better and at the same time make the worst days (breakable crud) fun too. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, 9 Jan. 2022 That means that it is expected that false negatives will happen, and the test’s packaging recommends using two tests 24 to 36 hours apart, and getting a PCR test if there is any doubt. Matthew Herper, STAT, 9 Jan. 2022 His participation, a week before the season’s first major tennis tournament is set to begin, is a major doubt. NBC News, 8 Jan. 2022 But there is little doubt that Interstellar Probe and Interstellar Express could be transformational in our understanding of our place in space. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, 6 Jan. 2022 There is little doubt that the future will be worse. Sarah Kaplan And Andrew Ba Tran, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Jan. 2022 There’s no doubt that having RSL in limbo was a pain point for him. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Jan. 2022

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 3a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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

Learn More About doubt

Time Traveler for doubt

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near doubt

doubly ruled surface



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Statistics for doubt

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for doubt


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on doubt

Nglish: Translation of doubt for Spanish Speakers

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


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