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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Defeated prime ministers have pointed to several reasons why instability has become the norm, among them a 24-hour news cycle amplified by social media and short election cycles that lead lawmakers to obsess over opinion polls. Rob Taylor, WSJ, "Australia’s Ruling Party Seeks to Shut Revolving Door of Prime Ministers," 4 Dec. 2018 But on Tuesday, The New York Times published an opinion piece claiming the opposite. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Blockchain-based elections would be a disaster for democracy," 6 Nov. 2018 Of course, Jeffree Star had a LOT of opinions on it. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "A Definitive Timeline of Kylie Jenner's Messy Feud With Jeffree Star," 18 July 2018 The photo below is mine, illustrating an opinion piece for the newspaper, bemoaning the increading use of decorative LED lighting on the city's skyscrapers. Tom Gralish, Philly.com, "This week in Photos: July 9, 2018," 11 July 2018 But his supporters have cited his experience and wide range of legal opinions. The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump nominates GOP favorite Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 The outcome of the political fight will have little to do with the objective features or merits of the plan and everything to do with who wins the battle for public opinion. David Roberts, Vox, "Canadian premier Justin Trudeau is betting his reelection on a carbon tax," 24 Oct. 2018 In the first comprehensive national public-opinion study about how non-Natives perceive Native Americans, researchers conducted 28 focus groups in 11 states, surveyed 13,306 people online, and analyzed 4.9 million social media posts. Rebecca Nagle, Teen Vogue, "Invisibility is the Modern Form of Racism Against Native Americans," 23 Oct. 2018 The most important discoveries are then circulated quickly to experts in Wales for their opinion, while the new photographs are carefully organized and permanently archived. Fox News, "Drought reveals 'ghost gardens,' ancient cemeteries, lost cities across British Isles," 2 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about opinion

Statistics for opinion

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opinion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more


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

Keep scrolling for more

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 typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!