\ 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

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 Alex's experiences typify gaslighting in relationships that are not otherwise abusive, such that the manipulations were subtle and indirect but nonetheless made Alex doubt her ability to interpret reality. Paige L. Sweet, Scientific American, 20 Sep. 2022 But other moments doubt the value of aesthetic experience, or at least its ability to create connections across differences in present-day America. Dan Kubis,, 15 Sep. 2022 The iPhone’s pixels illuminate the Instagram post that gives you FOMO, the YouTube video that makes your uncle doubt the vaccine, the NFTs that sell for millions, and the tweet instructing you to log off forever. Damon Beres, The Atlantic, 8 Sep. 2022 Modern historians doubt much of Livy’s account, noting similarities to other historic battles, but accept that Cincinnatus did serve as dictator in 458 B.C. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, 6 Sep. 2022 But some scientists doubt that an ancient dinosaur could have survived in the loch's dark and frigid water, as it was formed only 10,000 years ago during the Ice Age. Tori B. Powell, CBS News, 13 Aug. 2022 In many ways, Oladipo finds himself in a similar place as Westbrook, who, at 33, increasingly finds himself among those who doubt his ability to reclaim prior All-Star form. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 10 Aug. 2022 This breaks down a team mentality, damages relationships with partners and makes customers doubt their needs will be met. Andrew Rains, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 American officials doubt the Chinese military will interfere with Ms. Pelosi’s ability to land safely in Taiwan, betting that Beijing does not want a direct confrontation with the United States. New York Times, 31 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her friend's warning, while unwanted at the time, planted a seed of doubt in Yvonne's mind. Dan Carson, Chron, 21 Sep. 2022 Despite those public expressions of doubt, China is staying the course in its relationship with Russia and even seeking to deepen the economic ties between the two countries, said Chinese officials familiar with Beijing’s thinking. Keith Zhai, WSJ, 21 Sep. 2022 Even in places where there was never a shadow of a doubt about the political leanings of the electorate, election officials have found themselves under threat. Neil Vigdor,, 6 Sep. 2022 For the avoidance of doubt, these bases are in addition to, and not in lieu of, the bases for termination identified in the July 8 Termination Notice. Lindsey Rupp, Fortune, 30 Aug. 2022 Most important, the PACT Act removes the burden of proof and gives veterans the benefit of doubt at a time of desperate need. Jason A. Higgins, The Conversation, 17 Aug. 2022 That mindset then leads to poor results, negative feedback or feelings of self-doubt. Steve Sonnenberg, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 Although her own work as a chaplain had never required an endorsement from church headquarters, Harris described its absence as a crack in her confidence through which cold winds of self-doubt would occasionally sweep. Tamarra Kemsley, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Aug. 2022 But Maloney is the most notable Democrat to cast some sort of doubt on Biden's electability. Isabella Murray, ABC News, 4 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About doubt

Time Traveler for doubt

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near doubt

doubly ruled surface



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Statistics for doubt

Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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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


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