\ 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 Through it all, Huderson never sulked or gave the coaches any reason to doubt his commitment. G Smith,, "Finally his time: Senior running back Stephon Huderson carrying the load for Tulane," 22 Oct. 2020 Allen hasn’t lost a district game since October 2010, and in recent seasons, there was little reason to doubt the Eagles wouldn’t cruise through their schedule. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Evaluating 3 toughest Class 6A districts in Dallas area: Allen and Duncanville won’t coast to playoffs," 20 Oct. 2020 Unlike Trump, who also recently contracted COVID-19, after months of mocking the value of masks, Scalia probably does not doubt that politicians should defer to scientific experts about the nature of the virus and how to prevent its spread. Eyal Press, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Labor Secretary Is a Wrecking Ball Aimed at Workers," 19 Oct. 2020 Gears 5's impressive update is proof that Series X has power to spare, and there's no reason to doubt that developers will exploit it at some point. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Xbox Series X unleashed: Our unrestricted preview," 15 Oct. 2020 Judge Barrett herself, an appeals court judge who has taught and written about constitutional law as a professor for nearly 20 years, has given Democrats plenty of reasons to doubt her neutrality. Carl Hulse, New York Times, "Barrett, Vowing Independence, Is Haunted by Trump’s Demands," 14 Oct. 2020 As with so much of what Yiannousakis has said over the last six years, there were plenty of reasons to doubt this latest sensational allegation. Alexander Clapp, The New Republic, "The Vampire Ship," 28 Sep. 2020 So, people do doubt the CDC because they have been forced to tailor their recommendations to the White House, for example. Joshua Fechter,, "‘A witch’s brew of conflict’: San Antonio’s Henry Cisneros sees looming problems over loss of respect for federal leaders," 24 Sep. 2020 Those who doubt the universality of basic human rights need only ask victims deprived of them. Aaron Rhodes, National Review, "The American Understanding of Natural Rights," 24 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even the Trump-hating former FBI counterintelligence deputy Peter Strzok, in his new book, has no doubt whose meddling changed the 2016 election outcome. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The U.S. Has an ‘Intelligence’ Problem," 23 Oct. 2020 The internet is now convinced that Crocodile is, without a doubt, a Backstreet Boys band member. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Did 'The Masked Singer' Just Accidentally Reveal a Season 4 Cast Member’s Identity?," 20 Oct. 2020 Christian Fischer never seemed to have a doubt that a deal to keep him with the Arizona Coyotes would get done. Jose M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Coyotes bring back forward Christian Fischer on two-year deal," 19 Oct. 2020 Bynum has no doubt that Minnesota Opera can keep its relevance in an era when the pace of change is dizzying, and upheaval is a way of life for many people. Terry Blain Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Can opera still have an impact? That's literally this Minnesotan's job," 13 Oct. 2020 Without a doubt, the pandemic has many New Yorkers leaving urban apartments for suburban homes -- and beyond -- but the city is hardly emptying out. Anna Bahney, CNN, "Manhattan landlords are offering an average of two months free rent," 8 Oct. 2020 Amazon had no doubt that Twitch viewers would line up to watch the matches unfold and, later, join the game’s beta release. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Amazon Wants to ‘Win at Games.’ So Why Hasn’t It?," 7 Oct. 2020 The first issue is, without a doubt, Ballot Measure 1. Anchorage Daily News, "Candidate Q&A: Alaska House District 24 — Tom McKay," 3 Oct. 2020 His scorching three-point shooting without a doubt helped the Blazers reach the playoffs. oregonlive, "Gary Trent Jr., a rising star or superb role player?: Trail Blazers season review, look ahead," 1 Oct. 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

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 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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