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

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


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.

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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

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 Yet all three decisions stem from officials and department leaders who have given ample reason to doubt their good faith. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "The Trump Administration Continues to Erode Election Security," 3 Sep. 2020 There's probably good reason to doubt whether the need to experiment is something that alone can beat a copyright claim, especially given all that's at play here. Eriq Gardner, Billboard, "Nicki Minaj Warns Experimentation at Stake in Tracy Chapman Copyright Suit," 18 Aug. 2020 As prosecutors continued to question witnesses, Cohen began to doubt the wisdom of purchasing the Enquirer, according to two people familiar with his thinking. Sarah Ellison, Washington Post, "As a sale of the National Enquirer collapses, some wonder if the tabloid is too hot to handle," 25 Aug. 2020 Texas Democrats continue to doubt the likelihood of a Biden-Harris investment in the Lone Star State. Elaine Ayala,, "Ayala: Biden-Harris adviser, a political insider from a labor union dynasty, has San Antonio tie," 22 Aug. 2020 Alfred de Rothschild was a director of the Bank of England, and George believed that obtaining a Rothschild bill would strengthen beyond doubt the Warren account’s reputation with the bank. Paul Brown, Longreads, "How Four Americans Robbed the Bank of England," 10 Aug. 2020 There are many reasons to doubt that the service is prepared to serve as a backstop for American democracy. The New Yorker, "This Week’s Contest," 10 Aug. 2020 But during the Zoom memorial service, Eisen and several others began to doubt that Alepo was real. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "Twitter account of embattled #MeTooSTEM founder suspended," 3 Aug. 2020 There are all kinds of technical reasons to doubt that this is more than a fantasy. Jessica T. Mathews, The New York Review of Books, "The New Nuclear Threat," 22 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trump has cast doubt on mail-in voting as states have promoted and expanded it amid the coronavirus pandemic. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "Ohio Secretary of State says Ohioans should NOT test mail voting by showing up and voting again on Election Day," 8 Sep. 2020 Those same people are now disappointed that their stories will instead be used to cast doubt on the breed as a whole. Eileen Kelley,, "Thousands of pit bulls run the streets, and many end up as pets," 6 Sep. 2020 Recent studies have cast doubt on whether these protective antibodies last long enough in the body to provide lasting immunity. Peter Fimrite,, "Bay Area experts fear Trump prodding will yield subpar coronavirus vaccine," 5 Sep. 2020 But Mueller’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last July also cast doubt on the idea that Rosenstein or the Justice Department secretly curtailed Mueller. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Strzok joins Weissmann and casts doubt on New York Times story on FBI’s Trump-Russia counterintelligence inquiry," 4 Sep. 2020 Carter's comments came shortly after Attorney General William Barr referenced a bipartisan report by the Federal Election Reform Commission, which Carter co-chaired with former Secretary of State James Baker in 2005, to cast doubt on mail-in-voting. Tamar Hallerman, Star Tribune, "Jimmy Carter endorses absentee ballots after White House cites him," 4 Sep. 2020 In the case of the girl, who police say is at the center of a custody battle, dozens of videos have sprouted hundreds of theories about her well-being and have caused some on social media to cast doubt about her safety. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "After QAnon conspiracy theorists latch on to video of distraught girl, Frisco police warn of misinformation," 3 Sep. 2020 Brazil and India both have more than 3.5 million cases and Russia has nearly 1 million, though critics have cast doubt on the accuracy of some nation's official tallies. CBS News, "U.S. tops 6 million coronavirus cases," 31 Aug. 2020 For the Milwaukee Bucks specifically, the experiences of their players cast doubt on the notion that anti-Blackness is reducible to economic causes. G'ra Asim, The New Republic, "The NBA Strike and the Limits of the Left’s Class-Centric Politics," 29 Aug. 2020

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

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Time Traveler for doubt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for doubt

Last Updated

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for doubt


How to pronounce doubt (audio)

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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