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

Essential Meaning of doubt

1 : to be uncertain about (something) : to believe that (something) may not be true or is unlikely She began to doubt [=question] everything he said. I have always doubted the existence of life on other planets. See More ExamplesNo 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."Hide
2 : to have no confidence in (someone or something) I began to doubt [=question] my own judgment. She doubted his ability to succeed. He said he could do it, but I couldn't help doubting him.

Full 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
b : suspect


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.
no 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 If that information came to light, advertisers could spend less money with Facebook and some investors would doubt its growth metrics, the complaint said. Dave Michaels, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 Those prosecutors may doubt survivors because of their own biases, or may be worried a loss will be bad for their careers. Alexandra Brodsky,, 11 Oct. 2021 Can anybody reasonably doubt that this win could springboard them to a second consecutive title? Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2021 Sick of the high cost of living in a city, Samantha (Rose McIver) dreams of turning the estate into a bed and breakfast, while her skeptical husband Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) does his best not to doubt her. Caroline Framke, Variety, 6 Oct. 2021 There’s still reason to doubt third-year coach Kliff Kingsbury, and the Cardinals face the toughest remaining schedule in the league, according to Football Outsiders. C.j. Doon,, 5 Oct. 2021 Following the sea-chest incident, nobody could doubt the fragility of the vessel. The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2021 And the massive fear, uncertainty and doubt around Covid-19 isn’t going to end anytime soon. Christine Comaford, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 Did anyone doubt that Gabe Brkic would put that final field goal through? R.j. Coyle, Dallas News, 25 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Taylor Decker did not practice Friday after going through two light workouts earlier this week, casting doubt on his availability for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 15 Oct. 2021 The closing arguments by the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys should remove any doubt. Christine Pelisek,, 14 Oct. 2021 No doubt there is someone out there sulking about losing a VIP pass to the biggest upset of the college football season. Mark Heim |, al, 14 Oct. 2021 This time around, there seems to be a burning desire to emphasize over and over how insanely difficult this season is, no doubt to compensate for the worry that a 26-day season would be seen as the kiddie-table version of a regular Survivor. Dalton Ross,, 14 Oct. 2021 Similar tools to the new genomics have no doubt been misused in the past to justify racist and social Darwinist ends. Keolu Fox, Scientific American, 13 Oct. 2021 Home Depot stores in Tijuana and Reno no doubt will appreciate the sales boost. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 13 Oct. 2021 But there is no doubt that the summer surge in US gasoline prices and tumbling popularity polls had much to do with President Biden’s request. Tilak Doshi, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Former deputy national security adviser KT McFarland expressed her doubt over the possibility the couple was selling the information to China. Fox News, 12 Oct. 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

Dictionary Entries Near doubt

doubly ruled surface



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for doubt

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

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

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for doubt


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on doubt

Nglish: Translation of doubt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of doubt for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about doubt


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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