\ 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 There are reasons to be hopeful and evidence to doubt him. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "How can Donovan Peoples-Jones help the Browns and how good can he become? - Film review," 1 May 2020 Richter is contemporary art’s great poet of uncertainty; his work sets the will to believe and the obligation to doubt in perfect oscillation. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, "The Master of Unknowing," 25 Apr. 2020 More recently the public has tut-tutted over seemingly affectionate telephone calls between the teenager and her guardian that caused some to doubt her story. The Economist, "Chaguan The push to raise China’s age of consent from 14," 23 Apr. 2020 The illogical nature of the conversation caused Hildebrandt to doubt the authenticity of it. Pat Brennan,, "FC Cincinnati throwbacks: Catching up with Mitch Hildebrandt," 21 Apr. 2020 There will be more fear-inducing headlines that give us reason to doubt the level of preparedness. Caroline Chen, ProPublica, "How Many Americans Are Really Infected With the Coronavirus?," 18 Mar. 2020 Without concrete evidence that China is buying more, the markets will continue to doubt that the phase one deal will be fully implemented. Tao Xiong, The Conversation, "The coronavirus will delay agricultural export surges promised in trade deal with China," 13 Mar. 2020 Even in the midst of a pandemic, never doubt the world’s ability to surprise. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "Fewer Wrecks, Grounded Planes, and More Car News This Week," 3 May 2020 Watts didn’t doubt the explanation, because in the FEMA case almost all of the 30,000 clients Warren and Le had procured had been the real thing. Francesca Mari, The Atlantic, "The Oil Spill, the Tort Lawyer, and the Clients Who Didn’t Exist," 16 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Despite the positive outlook, there was still some doubt. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Source: UIL to allow limited summer strength and conditioning beginning June 8," 19 May 2020 Unfortunately, there is no doubt that Birmingham’s climate is changing. al, "Climate change and COVID-19 -- a promising contrast," 18 May 2020 The company has until May 22 to restructure lease payments with bondholders and has cast doubt on its ability to pay debt obligations and continue as a going concern., "Uber cuts 3,000 more jobs," 18 May 2020 There is no doubt that globalization and international supply chains are under assault during this pandemic. Shawn Donnan,, "Protectionism Goes Local in Towns, States Battling Virus," 10 May 2020 There is no doubt that the coronavirus was spreading in the United States in January. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, "You’ll Probably Never Know If You Had the Coronavirus in January," 8 May 2020 Michael Callahan, an infectious disease doctor and special advisor to the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, says there is no doubt that China’s three- to six-month lead will result in a reshuffling of the global order. Brendan Borrell, Wired, "The Dire Diplomacy of the Global 'Race for a Vaccine'," 30 Apr. 2020 There is no doubt that congressional committees have subpoena power. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The US Supreme Court may be trying to dodge Trump’s tax case," 29 Apr. 2020 There is no doubt that communities of color are being hit hardest by Covid19. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "#UsAgainstCovid Community Service Announcement Aims To Save Black Lives," 28 Apr. 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

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 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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