opin·ion | \ə-ˈpin-yən \

Definition of opinion 

1a : a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter We asked them for their opinions about the new stadium.

b : approval, esteem I have no great opinion of his work.

2a : belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge a person of rigid opinions

b : a generally held view news programs that shape public opinion

3a : a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert My doctor says that I need an operation, but I'm going to get a second opinion.

b : the formal expression (as by a judge, court, or referee) of the legal reasons and principles upon which a legal decision is based The article discusses the recent Supreme Court opinion.

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Other Words from opinion

opinioned \ə-ˈpin-yənd \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for opinion

opinion, view, belief, conviction, persuasion, sentiment mean a judgment one holds as true. opinion implies a conclusion thought out yet open to dispute. each expert seemed to have a different opinion view suggests a subjective opinion. very assertive in stating his views belief implies often deliberate acceptance and intellectual assent. a firm belief in her party's platform conviction applies to a firmly and seriously held belief. the conviction that animal life is as sacred as human persuasion suggests a belief grounded on assurance (as by evidence) of its truth. was of the persuasion that everything changes sentiment suggests a settled opinion reflective of one's feelings. her feminist sentiments are well-known

opinion and belief mean a judgment that someone thinks is true. opinion is used when the judgment is not yet final or certain but is founded on some facts. I soon changed my opinion of the plan. belief is used if the judgment is certain and firm in a person's own mind without regard to the amount or kind of evidence. It's my belief we'll win the election.

Examples of opinion in a Sentence

We asked for their opinions about the new stadium. In my opinion, it's the best car on the market. The article discusses two recent Supreme Court opinions.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The nearly 300 opinions Mr Kavanaugh wrote as an appellate judge contain few surprises. The Economist, "Brett Kavanaugh could shape the law for the next 40 years," 12 July 2018 Clerks help the judge to prepare for argument, analyze cases and write opinions. Amy Chua, WSJ, "Kavanaugh Is a Mentor To Women," 12 July 2018 Richard Hasen, a UC Irvine law professor and election law scholar, also contended in a recent opinion column that Prop. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "California’s three-way split: Lawsuit may take matter out of voters’ hands," 12 July 2018 Both McGahn and Kavanaugh also sought to portray the judge's lengthy record — including more than 300 opinions, roughly a dozen of which were affirmed by the Supreme Court — as a benefit rather than a potential stumbling block. Ashley Parker And Robert Costa, chicagotribune.com, "Inside Trump's sometimes wavering decision on Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Kavanaugh, 53, has served on the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — seen as the nation’s second most important court – for 12 years and written more than 300 opinions. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "President Trump passes over Kentuckian Amul Thapar for Supreme Court," 9 July 2018 For all the latest storylines, opinion polls and economic indicators visit our special page in English or Spanish. Caroline Alexander, Bloomberg.com, "A Retirement, a Failed Coup and a Taboo: Weekend Reads," 30 June 2018 Tomorrow this Capital page will return to its steady purpose of offering readers informed opinion about the world around them. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "The Maryland newspaper released a morning edition of its paper just a day after a shooter broke into the newsroom.," 29 June 2018 Tomorrow this Capital page will return to its steady purpose of offering readers informed opinion about the world around them. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "What You Need to Know About the 'Capital Gazette' Mass Shooting," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opinion.' 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 opinion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for opinion

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin opinion-, opinio, from opinari

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Statistics for opinion

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opinion

The first known use of opinion was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for opinion



English Language Learners Definition of opinion

: a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing

: advice from someone with special knowledge : advice from an expert

: a formal statement by a judge, court, etc., explaining the reasons a decision was made according to laws or rules


opin·ion | \ə-ˈpin-yən \

Kids Definition of opinion

1 : a belief based on experience and on certain facts but not amounting to sure knowledge In my opinion you should take the job.

2 : a judgment about a person or thing She has a high opinion of herself.

3 : a statement by an expert after careful study He should get an opinion from a lawyer.


opin·ion | \ə-ˈpin-yən \

Medical Definition of opinion 

: a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert wanted a second opinion on the advisability of performing the operation

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opin·ion | \ə-ˈpin-yən \

Legal Definition of opinion 

1a : a belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge

b : a formal expression of a judgment or appraisal by an expert — see also opinion testimony at testimony — compare fact

2a : advice or evaluation regarding the legal issues involved in a situation given by an attorney to a client an opinion of title

called also legal opinion

— see also opinion letter at letter sense 1

b : an advisory opinion issued by an authorized public official (as an attorney general) or a recognized body (as the American Bar Association)

3a : the formal written expression by a court or judge of the reasons and principles of law upon which the decision in a case is based — compare holding, judgment, ruling

advisory opinion

: a nonbinding opinion or evaluation of a court or other judicial or quasi-judicial authority or body regarding the effect of the law on a situation that does not present an actual controversy between parties to answer questions which were not brought before this Court would be to issue an advisory opinionJBC of Wyoming Corp. v. City of Cheyenne, 843 P.2d 1190 (1992)

Note: Advisory opinions are issued especially by administrative agencies and by some state courts. Federal courts are constrained by the U.S. Constitution to deciding only cases or controversies and cannot issue advisory opinions.

concurring opinion

: an opinion by a judge who agrees with the result in a case but not necessarily with the reasoning used to reach it

dissenting opinion

: an opinion by a judge who disagrees with the result in a case

majority opinion

: an opinion in a case that is written by one judge and in which a majority of the judges on the court join

memorandum opinion

1 : a brief opinion of a court that announces the result of a case without extensive discussion and that is usually unpublished and cannot be cited as precedent

2 : an opinion of the U.S. Tax Court that is ordered not to be published but that is authoritative as precedent

3a : an opinion of a court that sets forth the court's views or intended decision in a case but does not constitute the judgment

b : an opinion of a court or judge setting forth the conclusions and findings and containing or constituting the actual order, judgment, or decree in the case

per curiam opinion

: a usually very brief unanimous opinion attributed to the court as a whole and not to any particular judge

plurality opinion

: an opinion with which a majority of the judges on the court concur in result but not in reasoning

separate opinion

: an opinion written separately by a judge who dissents or who concurs only in the result of the majority opinion

slip opinion

: an opinion published in temporary form soon after the decision is rendered

b : a written explanation for a decision reached by an official (as an arbitrator) presiding over the nonjudicial resolution of a dispute

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Comments on opinion

What made you want to look up opinion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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