noun opin·ion \ ə-ˈpin-yən \
|Updated on: 8 Jul 2018
1 a : 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.
2 a : 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
3 a : 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.


play \ə-ˈpin-yənd\ adjective

Examples of opinion in a Sentence

  1. We asked for their opinions about the new stadium.

  2. In my opinion, it's the best car on the market.

  3. The article discusses two recent Supreme Court opinions.

Recent Examples of opinion from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of opinion

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

Synonym Discussion of 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 Defined for English Language Learners


  • : 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

OPINION Defined for Kids


noun opin·ion \ ə-ˈpin-yən \
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.

Synonym Discussion of opinion

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.

Medical Dictionary


noun opin·ion \ ə-ˈpin-yən \
: a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert
  • wanted a second opinion on the advisability of performing the operation

Law Dictionary


noun opin·ion \ ə-ˈpin-yən \
1 a : 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
2 a : 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 1
b : an advisory opinion issued by an authorized public official (as an attorney general) or a recognized body (as the American Bar Association)
3 a : 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
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
3 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
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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