\ 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the pandemic has made travelers doubt the value of loyalty programs and the credit cards that help generate more miles and points. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Is it time to give up your travel loyalty programs? The case for keeping or cutting up your cards," 1 Jan. 2021 Change may be coming to Washington, but lawyers who have worked for years to fix FATCA doubt the Biden administration will want to repair the law. Vivienne Walt, Time, "Why 'Accidental Americans' Are Desperate to Give Up Their U.S. Citizenship," 22 Dec. 2020 Let nobody doubt Jennifer Garner's Christmas spirit, after she was spotted in perhaps the most festive sweater vest of all time while heading out in Brentwood, California last Friday. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Garner's Sweater Vest Couldn't Be More Christmassy," 21 Dec. 2020 Whatever history’s final judgment of Trump may be, few would doubt that this is a lot to pin on Ronald Reagan. Alvin S. Felzenberg, National Review, "Showtime’s Pathetic Exercise in Reagan Bashing," 19 Dec. 2020 First, fear of side effects turns out to be one of the main reasons why people doubt these vaccines. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, "Vaccines Are Here. We Have to Talk About Side Effects," 17 Dec. 2020 Sometimes our own self-judgment is projected onto others and can cause worry and doubt that aren’t necessary. Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for November 21, 2020," 21 Nov. 2020 Another reason why some experts doubt whether built-in bias assessment would work is that widespread IAT data shows most people in America have strong racial biases. Paulina Villegas, Washington Post, "How much bias is too much to become a police officer? Experts fear policing law might backfire," 27 Oct. 2020 But advocates for property owners doubt there will be anywhere near that many people facing homelessness. Anna Bahney, CNN, "It's not just renters. Landlords are struggling, too," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Despite leading the league in passing yards, Watson still suffered through 12 losses which no doubt was frustrating. Matt Young, Chron, "No, the Texans aren't trading quarterback Deshaun Watson," 7 Jan. 2021 The new season awaits, no doubt with plenty of roster tinkering to come. Kevin Paul Dupont,, "A look at how Bruce Cassidy might fill undecided spots in the Bruins lineup," 7 Jan. 2021 What are the knock-on effects of sowing casual doubt about our public institutions? Benjamin Mazer, Wired, "There Should Be a Nobel Prize for Vaccine Logistics," 6 Jan. 2021 The results of a handful of states critical to both campaigns are in serious doubt. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "The members of Congress who are planning to object to Joe Biden's Electoral College win," 5 Jan. 2021 The vaccine doubt persists despite clear scientific evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, according to experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ben Welsh Data And Graphics Editor, Los Angeles Times, "Free Airbnb with your COVID-19 vaccine? Firefighters offered prizes along with priority access," 5 Jan. 2021 The burden of proof in civil forfeiture cases is less than in criminal actions where prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Frisco jeweler catches attention of feds who seized his assets due to cash transactions," 4 Jan. 2021 The results of a handful of states critical to both campaigns are in serious doubt. John Sharp |, al, "Rep. Mike Rogers latest Alabama congressman to challenge Electoral College results," 4 Jan. 2021 Pittsburgh’s decision to rest Ben Roethlisberger was helpful, but some doubt was introduced when a coronavirus outbreak closed Cleveland’s facilities and left the team without three of its four starting defensive backs. New York Times, "What We Learned From Week 17 of the N.F.L. Season," 3 Jan. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about doubt

Time Traveler for doubt

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for doubt

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on doubt

What made you want to look up doubt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!