opin·​ion ə-ˈpin-yən How to pronounce opinion (audio)
: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter
We asked them for their opinions about the new stadium.
: approval, esteem
I have no great opinion of his work.
: belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge
a person of rigid opinions
: a generally held view
news programs that shape public opinion
: 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.
: 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.
opinioned 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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The most important thing to them is cultivating the good opinion of others. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2022 All right, New York Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 29 Nov. 2022 What on the surface would seem like an awkward situation is a must in Fickell's opinion. Mark Stewart, Journal Sentinel, 29 Nov. 2022 DesChamps scaled the Sales Force Tower in San Francisco in May, when a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court was leaked signaling that the court would overturn Roe vs. Wade. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2022 Get top headlines from the Union-Tribune in your inbox weekday mornings, including top news, local, sports, business, entertainment and opinion. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Nov. 2022 The council passed a motion for the town attorney to formulate an opinion on the action of the legality of the board of finance in making its decision. Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant, 28 Nov. 2022 Public opinion, once resolutely pacifist, has shifted. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 28 Nov. 2022 The judge said the company violated his freedom of expression and opinion by firing Mr. T for refusing to join in with these practices. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 28 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Middle English opinioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French opinion, borrowed from Latin opīniōn-, opīniō "what or how one thinks about something, expectation, estimation, reputation," from opīn-, base of opīnārī "to hold as an opinion, think, have in mind" (of obscure origin) + -iōn-, -iō, suffix of verbal action

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near opinion

Cite this Entry

“Opinion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opinion. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



opin·​ion ə-ˈpin-yən How to pronounce opinion (audio)
: a judgment about a person or thing
: a belief based on experience and on seeing certain facts that falls short of positive knowledge
: a statement by an expert after careful study
you better get a doctor's opinion
: a formal statement from a judge or court of the reasons for a legal decision

Medical Definition



opin·​ion ə-ˈpin-yən How to pronounce opinion (audio)
: a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert
wanted a second opinion on the advisability of performing the operation

Legal Definition



opin·​ion ə-ˈpin-yən How to pronounce opinion (audio)
: a belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge
: a formal expression of a judgment or appraisal by an expert see also opinion testimony at testimony compare fact
: 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
: an advisory opinion issued by an authorized public official (as an attorney general) or a recognized body (as the American Bar Association)
: 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 opinion JBC 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
: 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
: an opinion of the U.S. Tax Court that is ordered not to be published but that is authoritative as precedent
a : 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
: a written explanation for a decision reached by an official (as an arbitrator) presiding over the nonjudicial resolution of a dispute

More from Merriam-Webster on opinion

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