\ 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 Deb and Courtney doubt their couples Courtney and Deb also seem unsure about their couples. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 2 Aug. 2022 Many analysts and industry observers doubt regulators will approve the deal, and some have questioned the fit between JetBlue’s service—known for amenities along with lower fares—with Spirit’s no-frills offering. Alison Sider, WSJ, 31 July 2022 Many observers, including those who support the death penalty, doubt the state’s ability to carry out executions in a constitutional manner, even for those inmates whose guilt remains unchallenged. Ziva Branstetter, ProPublica, 29 July 2022 The show admires stripping’s creative potential and muscular vigor, but evinces doubt that the work can launch dancers out of poverty or social stigma in the long run. Inkoo Kang, Washington Post, 25 July 2022 But others doubt that explanation, noting the unlikelihood that a major shift in corporate concentration took place over just a couple years amid the pandemic. Max Zahn, ABC News, 30 June 2022 But some in the conservation community doubt whether getting there is even viable, in view of how resource-intensive predator elimination has proved to be. New York Times, 5 June 2022 Many economists doubt the Fed can avoid a recession, but Powell argued that the U.S. economy was sturdy enough to absorb multiple rate hikes. Don Leestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 Not to doubt your skill and adeptness at following instructions, but there are many lessons box dye just cannot teach you, and really there is no substitute to having an experienced pro painting your strands. Sable Yong, Allure, 29 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Both items, without a doubt, will have a role to play in the future of how data is stored, processed, transferred, and ultimately analyzed by market actors. Sean Stein Smith, Forbes, 31 July 2022 Without a doubt, our Summer of George is suffering a few Costanza-like moments. Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 29 July 2022 Without a doubt, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley are one of the most iconic trios to ever exist in film history. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 25 July 2022 This will be my best birthday present without a doubt. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 23 July 2022 With one stride to go before the finish, Norman raised his arms, the first time since the previous day that his father, watching from the stands, knew without a doubt what his son was feeling. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2022 Maybe so, but without a doubt the best spokesman for this sport amid all of its current drama is Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin. Joseph Goodman |, al, 18 July 2022 To create your yay-us family statement without 20 percent of your family — the without-a-doubt, no-contest, most vulnerable 20 percent? Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 17 July 2022 Wat Ratchanatdaram is also very special—but without a doubt, Wat Arun, the temple of dawn, is my favorite piece of design in the city. Katie Lockhart, House Beautiful, 14 July 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

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 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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