doubt

verb
\ 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

doubt

noun

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

Verb

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

Noun

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

Conversely, before the 2008 election, weren’t pundits busy doubting whether the United States was ready to elect a black president? Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, "Joe Biden and the ‘electability’ delusion — and why the media keep making the same mistake," 16 June 2019 Barnes presented an email from the non-partisan legislative Office of Fiscal Analysis, which was asked to review the regents’ savings projections — numbers that have been doubted by some critic. Kathleen Megan, courant.com, "Regents’ panel endorses $12.5M cut for community colleges," 14 June 2019 There is a wide gap between the best and worst football coaches, and who can possibly doubt that we have been favored with the presence of a man better suited to this difficult task than any man on earth? Bob Ryan, BostonGlobe.com, "In pro sports, how much do coaches really matter?," 8 June 2019 This will not come as a revelation to people who have closely followed President Donald Trump’s public statements and Twitter feed and have long doubted his veracity. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Analysis: Media starting to describe falsehoods as ‘lies’," 5 June 2019 Over the past weeks, my book has provided an occasion for conservatives such as Rusty Reno and Ross Douthat to doubt that Americans have the same access to a cohesive sense of national identity and story as European nations do. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Are You, or Have You Ever Been, an American?," 4 June 2019 The Delhi government wants to make riding on metro trains and public buses free for all women, a plan that experts doubt will help much. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "Can a free pass get more Delhi women to use public transport?," 4 June 2019 Industry insiders expect full legalization by 2022 but doubt Pennsylvania businesses will have the money to stay afloat until then. Sam Wood, https://www.inquirer.com, "Big marijuana firms are ‘rolling up’ local dispensaries and growers, skirting Pennsylvania’s laws," 4 June 2019 The pangenomes of eukaryotes today are small in comparison with those of prokaryotes, which makes some scientists doubt that LECA’s pangenome was any larger than, say, ours. Quanta Magazine, "Researchers Rethink the Ancestry of Complex Cells," 9 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Sabrina—who lost both parents in a mysterious accident and was raised by her aunts—has some lingering doubts, particularly about preserving her free will. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 18 Dec. 2018 As the boys’ oxygen supply dwindled, doubts in the rescuers’ ability to save them mounted. Wendy Dent, WIRED, "The Engineering Behind Elon Musk's Bid to Save Thailand's Cave Boys," 11 July 2018 And Dima was no doubt going to spend quite a bit more. Keith Gessen, Longreads, "My Brother Comes to Moscow," 10 July 2018 There can be no doubt that the former actress is making the role her own. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "How Meghan Markle Is Making the Role of Duchess Her Own," 19 May 2019 The Met Gala, however, is its own sort of rite of passage for couples, and there's no doubt the two were celebrating during the event. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Made Their Met Gala 2019 Debut as a Married Couple," 7 May 2019 Berlin There can’t be much doubt which American ambassador has the toughest assignment these days: Richard Grenell. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Trump’s Blunt Ambassador to Berlin," 6 May 2019 The crew's absence has been a hard pill to swallow for many avid viewers, but there's no doubt that the remaining stars will continue to serve up our dramatic fishing fix (and hopefully fill Johnathan's pranking void). Blair Donovan, Country Living, "This Is Why 'Deadliest Catch' Won't Feature the Time Bandit Anymore," 28 Apr. 2019 If smartphones had existed in the 1890s, there is no doubt that Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec would have been a capital-I Influencer. Jeffrey Bauman, ELLE Decor, "This Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibition Will Change the Way You Look at Social Media," 5 Apr. 2019

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

Verb

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

Noun

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

19 Jun 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

doubt

verb

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)

doubt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of doubt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feeling of being uncertain or unsure about something

doubt

verb
\ 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.

doubt

noun

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about doubt

Comments on doubt

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