doubt

1 of 2

verb

doubted; doubting; doubts

transitive verb

1
: to call into question the truth of : to be uncertain or in doubt about
He doubts everyone's word.
2
a
: 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
doubtable adjective
doubter noun
doubtingly adverb

doubt

2 of 2

noun

plural doubts
1
a
: a lack of confidence : distrust
has doubts about his abilities
b
: an inclination not to believe or accept
a claim met with doubt
2
a
: 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.
Phrases
no doubt
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Weekes doubts her fairness and criticizes her temperament. Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, Sun Sentinel, 1 July 2024 Implement this tip and no one will ever roll their eyes or doubt your intelligence ever again. Cnn.com, The Mercury News, 1 July 2024
Noun
Everything was okay, but there were a few moments of doubt there for sure. Nick Romano, EW.com, 5 July 2024 Whitmer — a national co-chair for Biden's campaign — has sought to shore up support for the president after his debate performance cast fresh doubts about his candidacy. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 3 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for doubt 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'doubt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English douten, from Anglo-French duter, douter, from Latin dubitare to be in doubt; akin to Latin dubius dubious

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3a

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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

Dictionary Entries Near doubt

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doubt. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

doubt

1 of 2 verb
1
: to be uncertain about
doubts her sincerity
2
: to lack confidence in
doubted his own abilities
3
: to consider unlikely
doubt if I can go
doubtable adjective
doubter noun
doubtingly adverb

doubt

2 of 2 noun
1
: uncertainty of belief or opinion
2
: the state of being uncertain
the outcome is in doubt
3
a
: a lack of confidence
b
: an inclination not to believe or accept

More from Merriam-Webster on doubt

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