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

More worryingly, India is starting to doubt the superpower’s seriousness. The Economist, "The Indian-American underachiever," 28 June 2018 Dehlin started to doubt, and his life, enmeshed so tightly in the church, began to dissolve. Sarah Scoles, Longreads, "Meet the New Mormons," 8 June 2018 Some experts doubt it’s possible to achieve full self-driving using Tesla’s hardware The most obvious thing missing from Tesla's cars, from an autonomy perspective, is lidar. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "People who paid Tesla $3,000 for full self-driving might be out of luck," 17 Apr. 2018 But few are willing to doubt their chances -- at least, in the Eastern Conference. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers' road to NBA Finals has never been tougher, as changed Toronto Raptors show: Chris Fedor," 22 Mar. 2018 The 6-foot-6, 220-pound point guard, who worked out for the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, didn’t pay much attention to those who doubted his decision. Michael Osipoff, Post-Tribune, "Evanston grad Nojel Eastern 'living in the moment' at Purdue after NBA draft process," 14 July 2018 Anyone who doubts the power of the arts to unite humanity has only to look at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Claudia Bauer, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco’s Ethnic Dance Fest celebrates 40 years," 12 July 2018 Such an approach might appeal not only to a worker who doubts the state’s promises, but any worker who views a public-sector job as a way station rather than a lifetime commitment. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The Court Shows the System Works," 6 July 2018 Anyone who ever doubted Marouane Fellaini is a bad, bad person. SI.com, "Mad, Mad, Mad: Twitter Melts Down as Belgium and Japan Give Us a World Cup Classic," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During his 28 hours there, Trump had disparaged longtime NATO allies, cast doubt on his commitment to the mutual-defense organization and sent the 29-member pact into a frenzied emergency session. Jonathan Lemire And Jill Colvin, Fox News, "Trump brings his chaotic road show to Britain," 13 July 2018 During his 28 hours there, Trump disparaged longtime NATO allies, cast doubt on his commitment to the mutual-defense organization and sent the 29-member pact into a frenzied emergency session. Jill Colvin And Jonathan Lemire, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump praises May after throwing barbs, then meets the queen," 13 July 2018 During his 28 hours there, Trump had disparaged longtime NATO allies, cast doubt on his commitment to the mutual-defense organization and sent the 29-member pact into a frenzied emergency session. Jonathan Lemire And Jill Colvin, chicagotribune.com, "Explosive Trump tabloid interview adds to chaos on 1st British visit," 13 July 2018 That has now cast doubt over a potential deal, with the Gunners having already spent over £70m this summer. SI.com, "Arsenal Suffer Blow in Pursuit of Boca Juniors Ace as Argentine Club Increase Asking Price to £37m," 12 July 2018 Sharif's younger brother, Shehbaz Sharif, who has taken over the PML-N leadership, said on Thursday recent action by the anti-graft National Accountability Bureau and the judiciary had cast doubt over the election. NBC News, "Pakistani court sentences ex-PM Sharif to 10 years in prison for corruption," 6 July 2018 While the rest of America struggles and questions and searches its soul, the White House communications shop sends out talking points casting doubt on the women who came forward to share their stories about Roy Moore. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "When the White House Is a Safe Space," 6 July 2018 Mr Chinchilla was not on a list of five candidates considered by congress, casting doubt on the legality of his appointment. The Economist, "Politics this week," 5 July 2018 The Ohio House is now on an extended summer recess, casting doubt on whether the bill can make it through both the House and Senate and receive the governor’s signature before the end of the year. Laura A. Bischoff, ajc, "Ohio lawmakers back bill requiring teachers to out transgender students," 30 June 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

28 Aug 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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