\ 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
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the main reason to doubt the seriousness of Jenner's gubernatorial bid is an utter lack of qualification for the office. Mark Z. Barabak, Star Tribune, "Caitlyn Jenner can't run for governor on celebrity alone," 28 Apr. 2021 The main reason, though, to doubt the seriousness of Jenner’s gubernatorial bid is a complete and utter lack of qualification for the office. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Caitlyn Jenner wants to be California governor. But she’s no Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarzenegger," 26 Apr. 2021 In fact, three previous reviews showed no sign of significant fraud or any reason to doubt President Biden’s victory. New York Times, "Half a Year After Trump’s Defeat, Arizona Republicans Are Recounting the Vote," 25 Apr. 2021 In fact, three previous reviews showed no sign of significant fraud or any reason to doubt President Joe Biden’s victory., "Months after Trump’s election defeat, Arizona Republicans are recounting the vote," 25 Apr. 2021 Nothing that happened at this meet would give anyone reason to doubt Floriea’s bold statement. Joe Magill, cleveland, "After Paige Floriea, Mentor girls track team dominate Comet Relays, they’re clear about their ultimate goal: Win state," 24 Apr. 2021 In the case of J&J’s low vaccine price, there is sufficient reason to doubt that the company is motivated by the public good. Tima Bansal, Forbes, "Why Is J&J’s COVID-19 Vaccine So Cheap?," 5 Apr. 2021 The Orioles feel that way as well, and there’s no reason to doubt any of them. Jon Meoli,, "Five things we learned from Orioles spring training, including a glut of talent in the outfield | ANALYSIS," 30 Mar. 2021 In China, too, many doubt the Biden administration will turn away from its predecessor’s confrontational approach, and instead fear an intensification of efforts to constrain China. Sha Hua, WSJ, "U.S and China Engage, Tentatively, on Climate Change," 9 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Part of the thrill of the NFL Draft is how quickly things can change, but there’s little doubt about who will go first this year. Chris Morris, Fortune, "How to watch the NFL Draft online for free—and without cable," 29 Apr. 2021 Taken 10th overall, there was little doubt Mayo would be a special player early on., "The 15 best Patriots draft picks of the Bill Belichick era," 27 Apr. 2021 For Armenians, though, there is little doubt about what happened. WSJ, "Biden’s Recognition of Armenian Genocide Helps Healing of a Deep Wound," 26 Apr. 2021 In all likelihood, Captain America 4 is at least three years away, especially if Marvel is still in search of a director, but there’s little doubt that Sam Wilson will have a major role to play as the next universal threat begins to wreak havoc. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "‘Captain America 4’ is happening with Sam Wilson behind the shield," 23 Apr. 2021 But there seems to be little doubt that Mr. Kim was in the vanguard. New York Times, "Richard K. Kim, Pioneering Korean-American Prosecutor, Dies at 76," 22 Apr. 2021 In a letter to Biden and congressional leaders in both parties, a group of immigration hawks, including former Trump administration officials and past GOP members of Congress, left little doubt about what their preferred word choice was. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "The Biden immigration muddle," 22 Apr. 2021 There’s little doubt that Texas consumers will be paying bigger energy bills in the future. Robert Bryce, Forbes, "This Graphic Illustrates The Complexity Of Trying To Fix The ERCOT Mess," 19 Apr. 2021 There’s little doubt Essential Quality, the undefeated champion trained by Louisville’s Brad Cox, will be the morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby on May 1 at Churchill Downs. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Battaglia: Essential Quality clear Kentucky Derby favorite, but who's the No. 2 choice?," 13 Apr. 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.

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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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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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