doubt

verb
\ 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

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

As an advertising creative director who has been responsible for accounts like Netflix, Adidas and Miller Lite, Dave Horton knows the frustration of people doubting his vision. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "This Ad Exec Had to Learn to Trust the Pros," 27 Mar. 2019 Anyone doubting the long game here should be encouraged by Callazzo’s surprising success at the Iron Room (648 N. Albany Ave. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "Atlantic City restaurants: New casinos, diverse independent spots create rising culinary energy," 6 July 2018 But Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, for one, doubts the administration’s seriousness about waivers. Laurence Arnold, Bloomberg.com, "Who's Welcome (or Not) in U.S. After Trump Ban Upheld," 27 June 2018 Fendlay worries that allegations of anti-Semitism within the Women’s March are causing some to doubt whether an intersectional women’s movement can succeed. Anna North, Vox, "The Women’s March changed the American left. Now anti-Semitism allegations threaten the group’s future.," 21 Dec. 2018 So the left hand fights misinformation in the News Feed, while the right hand seeds fear, uncertainty, and doubt to reporters. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 But Border Patrol agents at the McAllen procession station doubted the record’s authenticity and split them up, lawyer said. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Trump administration outlines plan to reunify remaining 2,500 separated children," 14 July 2018 In the space of eight hours, Trump had moved from doubting the utility of the mutual defense alliance and provoking an extraordinary emergency session of its members to declaring the pact stronger than ever. Zeke Miller, Washington Post, "Analysis: Trump’s questionable claims of success," 13 July 2018 Just as no one really doubted that Gorsuch would play ball on the right wing’s nearest and dearest issues. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "In Kavanaugh, Trump Found Another Judge Who Will Kiss the Ring," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To prove a crime, Mueller must generally meet a standard of proving an offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Calvin Woodward, The Seattle Times, "AP fact check: Trump hails an exoneration not offered," 25 Mar. 2019 As a two-term first lady, Michelle Obama was without a doubt a style influencer. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "“Now, I’m free to do whatever”: Michelle Obama explains her $3,900 Balenciaga boots," 20 Dec. 2018 The Void is, without a doubt, still the best in the field at creating these kinds of hybrid experiences. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Void’s Ralph Breaks VR puts players inside a giant interactive Disney movie," 21 Nov. 2018 Opening Up to Experimentation — and Happiness Without a doubt, Young is more experimental with beauty than ever in this new stage of her career. Devon Abelman, Allure, "How Beauty Keeps Tiffany Young True to Her K-Pop Roots," 9 Nov. 2018 Thus far, the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailers have implied their fair share of beasts and crimes, but the newest and final teaser for the next installment of the Wizarding World saga is without a doubt the most fantastic. Chelsea Stone, Teen Vogue, "The Final "Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald" Trailer Reveals Major "Harry Potter" Connections," 25 Sep. 2018 Blurryface was widely received as a manifestation of Joseph's self doubts. Alessandra Rincón, Billboard, "5 Things We Want From Twenty One Pilots' New Album," 6 July 2018 When in doubt, always get medical help for a passed out friend immediately. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "What to Do if Your Friend Is Passed Out Drunk," 26 Feb. 2019 The problem is simple: content that isn’t safe for work is hard to monetize, and Tumblr’s future has been in doubt since the day it was purchased. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Tumblr’s porn ban could be its downfall — after all, it happened to LiveJournal," 6 Dec. 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 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

23 Apr 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

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 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.

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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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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about doubt

Comments on doubt

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