\ ˈdau̇t How to pronounce doubt (audio) \
doubted; doubting; doubts

Definition of doubt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic

a : fear I doubt I have been beguiled— Sir Walter Scott
b : suspect
2 : to call into question the truth of : to be uncertain or in doubt about He doubts everyone's word.
3a : 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



Definition of doubt (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : uncertainty of belief or opinion that often interferes with decision-making
b : a deliberate suspension of judgment
2 : a state of affairs giving rise to uncertainty, hesitation, or suspense the outcome is still in doubt
3a : a lack of confidence : distrust has doubts about his abilities
b : an inclination not to believe or accept a claim met with doubt
no doubt

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Other Words from doubt


doubtable \ ˈdau̇-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce doubtable (audio) \ adjective
doubter noun
doubtingly \ -​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


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.


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

Californians, too, were doubting that Raising Cane’s — a chicken-finger chain headquartered in Louisiana — was somehow more popular than In-N-Out. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "Texans, Whataburger fans question validity of fast-food study after In-N-Out named state’s favorite," 24 Sep. 2018 Never doubt that your voices and your choices matter., "Ivanka Trump’s Clothing Line Pulled From Yet Another Department Store," 14 July 2018 Head coach Dan Quinn followed it up the next day by saying that sometimes football and business intersect and that no one doubts how great of a teammate Jones is. Jonathan Jones,, "Matt Ryan and the Falcons Are Not Concerned About Julio Jones's Absence ... Yet," 13 June 2018 The astronaut’s doubts about himself, the nation’s very real doubts at the time, when many called Apollo a waste of money. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "“First Man” Is a Film About Failure," 4 Oct. 2018 What makes this scenario possible is that doubts about Article 5 seem to be lodged in the president’s mind. The Economist, "Will Donald Trump be Triumphant, Tetchy or Torpedo?," 5 July 2018 On the other hand, it cannot be doubted that the children born in this country of Hindu parents would retain indefinitely the clear evidence of their ancestry. Chase Strangio, Teen Vogue, "The Supreme Court Has Long Been a Tool of Oppression," 3 July 2018 In cases where a family relationship is doubted, adults and children can be separated. Alicia A. Caldwell, WSJ, "What Happens to Families Crossing the Border: The Current Rules," 28 June 2018 In less than 24 hours the terrain shifted dramatically under their feet, from the prospect of talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, to doubt over the future of relations between the two countries. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Trump's withdrawal from Kim summit plunges East Asia into uncertainty," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Despite his progressive agenda, there’s doubt around who Sanders, to use campaign slogan speak, is really for. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Who’s Afraid of the Bernie Bros?," 4 Mar. 2019 Kylie is most likely struggling to help her friend, who is no doubt having a hard time handling all this, and help her family, who is probably furious. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Did Kylie Jenner Keep Jordyn Woods’ Secret About Hooking Up with Tristan Thompson?," 21 Feb. 2019 There’s no doubt in my mind that the students of Parkland got more attention than, say, somebody facing daily gun violence in Chicago, because our area is affluent and mostly white. Allie Holloway, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sarah Chadwick, Laura Dern, & Diane Kruger Fight for Gun Violence Prevention," 20 Feb. 2019 The call throws into doubt whether Kavanaugh can win enough support. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Committee advances Kavanaugh nomination in party-line vote, as Flake seeks delay," 29 Sep. 2018 The lawsuit throws into doubt Musk’s tenure as the CEO of the $50 billion company that has made him into a hero entrepreneur. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "The SEC is suing Elon Musk for misleading Tesla investors with a tweet," 27 Sep. 2018 This #WhyIDidntReport campaign was sparked after President Donald Trump and others cast doubt on the accounts of two women who claim that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted each of them them decades ago. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Padma Lakshmi On Why She Stayed Silent After Being Raped at the Age of 16," 25 Sep. 2018 Seri was tipped to follow him, but Fulham's emergence as lead contenders has now put the move into doubt., "Fulham Tipped to Have Beaten Dortmund & Chelsea to €20m Deal for Coveted Ligue 1 Star," 10 July 2018 Linh Pham / Getty Images The preferred option of a rescue by divers was thrown into doubt after former Thai navy SEAL Sanam Kunan, 38, died after losing consciousness while returning from placing air tanks deep inside the caves. NBC News, "Soccer team trapped in Thailand: Weather key to rescue operations as mood turns somber," 6 July 2018

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 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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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Statistics for doubt

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for doubt

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on doubt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doubt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on doubt

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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