\ 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



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


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


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.


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

So over the past two years, as a special counsel investigated Trump’s alleged connections to Russian election interference, Symington doubted whether any of it was real. Alden Woods, azcentral, "More cake, less scandal (and no UFOs): Ex-Gov. Fife Symington is still looking for his legacy," 7 July 2019 Hsuan-Ching Ho, an associate professor at the Institute of Marine Biology at National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan who described three new species of coffinfish in 2016, doubts this is true, however. Joshua Rapp Learn, National Geographic, "This odd deep-sea fish can hold its breath for four minutes," 27 June 2019 That the translation, despite its numerous infirmities, was indeed of Vatsyayana’s 1,600-year-old disquisition was not doubted. Manu S Pillai, Quartz India, "When a British official dodged Victorian prudery to publish the Kamasutra in English," 27 June 2019 At the same time, Kaplan doubted the tight labor market would produce problematically high inflation because of the inability of firms to raise prices. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Dallas Fed's Robert Kaplan: 'Trade tensions, uncertainty have increased significantly'," 24 June 2019 With five returnees in the fold, plus incoming talent from the junior varsity and freshman teams, Barre isn’t doubting his team can return to the postseason. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Basketball: Dawson camp continues to attract healthy numbers," 21 June 2019 In other words, do not doubt the Golden State Warriors. Ann Killion,, "After Kevin Durant sacrificed it all, Oracle will be a hurricane of emotion," 11 June 2019 Though Chinese labor and environmental costs are rising, some analysts doubt MP's chances of becoming a low-cost producer. David J. Lynch, Anchorage Daily News, "China hints it will choke off U.S. ‘rare earths’ access. But it’s not that easy.," 11 June 2019 Victims’ families and many others doubt the official version from prosecutors that their bodies were burned beyond a trace at a garbage dump, and the incident remains one of the country’s rawest open wounds. Washington Post, "Mexico ‘anti-monuments’ recall dark moments, demand justice," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Well, their reputation certainly has gone up in flames and this strip is no doubt disrupting my peace and quiet., "Manchester City Kit 2019/20: Fans Repulsed as Citizens Release Fluorescent Third Strip," 15 July 2019 Pressure cookers are one of the most versatile kitchen appliances out there, no doubt about it. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "The best-selling Instant Pot is at its lowest price ever," 12 July 2019 The women agreed that self-doubt is a huge obstacle for women trying to secure a seat at the table. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "Rachel Hollis: 'There's every kind of woman and no right way to be'," 12 July 2019 But Erick Erickson, a conservative commentator, and John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview in Colorado Springs, Colo., doubt that Hinkle was cut solely for soccer reasons, the Washington Times reported. Fox News, "Christian views may have kept star player off US women’s soccer team, some say," 11 July 2019 Despite those doubts, federal investigators have turned facial recognition into a routine investigative tool. Drew Harwell, Twin Cities, "FBI, ICE use driver license photos without owners’ knowledge or consent," 9 July 2019 Despite those doubts, federal investigators have turned facial recognition into a routine investigative tool. Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, "FBI and ICE find state driver’s license photos are a gold mine for facial-recognition searches," 8 July 2019 At that point into his career, there were similar doubts about Justise Winslow. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Is Heat faith justifiably placed in Bam Adebayo?," 5 July 2019 The beauty at couture week is next level — there's no doubt about it. Kristen Bateman, Allure, "Schiaparelli Makes the Case for Matching Your Makeup to Your Outfit," 3 July 2019

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 1


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

17 Jul 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



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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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 Encyclopedia article about doubt

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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