doubt

verb
\ 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

doubt

noun

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

Verb

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

Noun

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

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, SFChronicle.com, "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

These doubts create a possible vulnerability as Trump highlights the economy’s solid performance in his campaign for re-election in 2020. Washington Post, "AP-NORC Poll: Trump not boosted by strong American economy," 1 July 2019 In the film, Christian's unfettered desire for Satine awakens her pessimism and doubt, and while the story has shifted, this essential point about their connection remains. Suzy Evans, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Moulin Rouge!' Stars Aaron Tveit and Karen Olivo Go Deeper and Darker on Stage," 1 July 2019 Significant doubts remain, though, about the future of the negotiations and the North’s willingness to give up its stockpile of nuclear weapons . Jonathan Lemire, chicagotribune.com, "Wide grins and historic handshake at DMZ as Trump visits Kim Jong Un in North Korea," 30 June 2019 That's music to the ears of Real, who will no doubt be going all out to secure a big-money move for Mbappe next year. SI.com, "Transfer Rumours: Rakitic to Man Utd, PSG Contact Bonucci, Kylian Mbappe to Refuse New Deal & More," 29 June 2019 And in private, officials express doubts as to whether EU27 countries really want outsized quantities of financial risk shifting to European capitals. The Economist, "London’s reign as the world’s capital of capital is at risk," 29 June 2019 Some employees struggle for ideas on how the situation could be changed and doubt that anything can be fixed without better pay and newer equipment. Beau Evans, nola.com, "Sewerage & Water Board employees, clocking long hours, long to be heard – not watched," 28 June 2019 In the double-jeopardy case, Justice Thomas, who previously had expressed doubts, said in the end he was persuaded the precedent was correct. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Supreme Court Wrap-Up: a Slate of Conservative, If Less Predictable, Rulings," 28 June 2019 Several of these latter works are so thickly layered and doubt-filled as to seem overworked or at the very edge of the artist's control. Dallas News, "Return of the Lilies: Monet makes a triumphant encore at the Kimbell," 28 June 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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

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

doubt

verb

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)

doubt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of doubt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feeling of being uncertain or unsure about something

doubt

verb
\ 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.

doubt

noun

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about doubt

Comments on doubt

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