\ 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 Some experts doubt fatalities will again climb to that level, given that younger people are more likely to survive the virus than older adults, and given advances in prevention and treatment. CBS News, "U.S. sees record-breaking 45,300 new confirmed coronavirus cases in one day," 27 June 2020 When this happens -- and especially when errors are revealed or papers are retracted -- public trust is eroded and people begin to doubt science. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "Science by press release: When the story gets ahead of the science," 27 June 2020 But experts say there isn't enough time to knock down the 8-year-old program before the November election and doubt the government would try because DACA is popular with voters. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump says he will renew effort to end DACA protections for immigrant ‘dreamers'," 19 June 2020 However, many on social media seemed to doubt the sincerity of the business’ sudden change of heart, and Ruggeiro says that no one from the restaurant has reached out to her. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "Fort Worth biscuit restaurant removes hip-hop references from menu after social media backlash," 9 June 2020 There are all kinds of reasons to doubt the accuracy of Friday’s employment report. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "America’s Employment Crisis Has Turned the Corner," 5 June 2020 These are wired headphones, which tend to be preferred by professional gamers who doubt the efficacy and lag of wireless models. Popular Science, "The best gaming headphones for an immersive experience," 4 June 2020 Many doubt the justice of our country, and with good reason. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "George W. Bush says George Floyd's death is latest "in a long series of similar tragedies"," 2 June 2020 Action eliminates doubt, and experience is the real education. The Oracles, USA TODAY, "Graduating college during the pandemic? These business titans have some advice for you," 2 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On Friday, San Francisco put a hold on its reopening plan over health concerns, placing the city’s timeline for gyms to resume operations in mid-August in doubt. Rusty Simmons,, "San Francisco’s small gyms fight to stay afloat as closures, restrictions stretch on," 27 June 2020 But the collapse of a Senate Republican bill leaves final legislation in doubt. Lisa Mascaro, Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. House passes Democrats’ sweeping police overhaul as Congress heads toward impasse," 26 June 2020 And now there is the following schism: the fact that he will be rescued is for him beyond doubt, irrespective of his will, simply by virtue of the weight of his victor’s personality. Franz Kafka, The New Yorker, "The Rescue Will Begin in Its Own Time," 22 June 2020 During my formative years following the Cowboys in the early 2000s, La’Roi Glover was without a doubt the best player on the team as stalwarts like Darren Woodson and Emmitt Smith were slowed by age. John Owning, Dallas News, "Favorite Dallas Cowboys of all time? John Owning breaks down his top 3, none of whom are skill position players," 19 June 2020 Without doubt, this is great TV for the Great Outdoors. Outdoor Life, "Great TV for the Great Outdoors: DISH Outdoors Satellite TV Enhances the Outdoor Experience," 18 June 2020 While this in-ear thermometer is on the pricier side, it is guaranteed to give you a precise reading without a doubt. Popular Science, "Child thermometers that help will keep your family healthy," 17 June 2020 Without a doubt, insurance will factor into thinking about the economic consequences of pandemics going forward. Evan Ratliff, Wired, "We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn't We?," 16 June 2020 Without a doubt police officers need to be better trained and taught to de-escalate. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Police reforms quickly take hold across America. It's only just getting started," 14 June 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

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on doubt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for doubt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doubt

Spanish Central: Translation of doubt

Nglish: Translation of doubt for Spanish Speakers

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

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