ques·tion | \ˈkwes-chən, ˈkwesh-\

Definition of question 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : an interrogative expression often used to test knowledge

(2) : an interrogative sentence or clause

b : a subject or aspect in dispute or open for discussion : issue broadly : problem, matter

c(1) : a subject or point of debate or a proposition to be voted on in a meeting

(2) : the bringing of such to a vote

d : the specific point at issue

2a : an act or instance of asking : inquiry

b : interrogation also : a judicial or official investigation

c : torture as part of an examination

d(1) : objection, dispute true beyond question

(2) : room for doubt or objection little question of his skill

(3) : chance, possibility no question of escape


questioned; questioning; questions

Definition of question (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to ask a question of or about

2 : to interrogate intensively : cross-examine

3a : doubt, dispute

b : to subject to analysis : examine

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Other Words from question


questioner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for question


ask, question, interrogate, query, inquire mean to address a person in order to gain information. ask implies no more than the putting of a question. ask for directions question usually suggests the asking of series of questions. questioned them about every detail of the trip interrogate suggests formal or official systematic questioning. the prosecutor interrogated the witness all day query implies a desire for authoritative information or confirmation. queried a librarian about the book inquire implies a searching for facts or for truth often specifically by asking questions. began to inquire of friends and teachers what career she should pursue

Examples of question in a Sentence


Can I ask you a personal question? I don't understand the question. Are there any more questions? In answer to your question, our next meeting will be on Friday. The essay questions on the test were easy. There are 10 multiple-choice questions on the exam. The exam included several questions on current events. The question arose as to who would be responsible for caring for our grandmother. I expected him to ask where I worked, but the question never came up. The key question in solving the mystery is, how did the murderer enter the house?


The reporter questioned her at length on her life as the First Lady. The witness was questioned by the defense. I could tell that she was questioning my decision. He began to question his ability to do the job. I trusted him and I never questioned what he told me. The lawyer questioned the truth of the witness's statement. He began to question whether the things she had said were really true.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Customers who have questions can contact ALDI customer service via or 1-800-325-7894, Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Talia Richman,, "ALDI recalls some poke kits from five Maryland stores," 14 July 2018 On Thursday, a call for questions was sent inside Uber to prepare for the company’s weekly staff meeting on Tuesday. Mike Isaac,, "At Uber, new questions arise about executive behavior," 14 July 2018 On the heels of the costliest year for U.S. disasters, one question stood out at a gathering here this week of researchers, rescuers and emergency managers. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Fires, floods, hurricanes: Disaster experts weigh ‘new normal’," 14 July 2018 Trump refused to take a question from the network's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump in U.K.: "I Don't Take Questions From CNN"," 13 July 2018 But a nagging question has been hanging over the industry: Would banks, taking their cue from rising economic optimism and a friendlier White House, significantly increase their lending to businesses and households? Emily Flitter, New York Times, "Bank Earnings Climb in Growing Economy, but Lending Doesn’t Keep Pace," 13 July 2018 But a follow-up question asking what should happen to families accused of crossing illegally found most Americans supporting a relatively punitive approach. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "The public rejected Trump’s child-separation policy, but a majority supports his push to detain families until court hearings," 13 July 2018 Of course, in every hearing since 1987, Senators have asked gotcha questions and nominees have given evasive answers. Jeffrey Rosen, WSJ, "What We Learn from Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 13 July 2018 Dragoo said Watkins began asking highly specific questions about Davis’ campaign and his level of support among Democrats. Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "‘His social views were liberal.’ Candidate met with Dems before launching GOP run," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After two fires in four years, many have questioned whether the renowned piece of architecture should be rebuilt. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Glasgow School of Art will be rebuilt after devastating fire," 12 July 2018 At a more basic level, Akiyama also questioned whether the layout of the plant allows enough room for maintenance cranes to maneuver amongst the fixtures. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Veteran industry engineer questions aspects of Alaska LNG plans," 6 July 2018 Some have questioned whether or not couture can remain relevant in these fast-fashion times. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "What Paris Couture and Jonathan Franzen Have in Common," 6 July 2018 Some researchers have questioned the neurological testing by Penn doctors, while others have continued to speculate that malfunctioning surveillance equipment, covert weapons, or collective delusion may be behind the cases. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Brain injury, sound-attack fears spread in China as more Americans evacuated," 2 July 2018 In just a couple of lines the hip-hop superstar also questions why George Zimmerman, the former Central Florida neighborhood watchman who killed 17-year-old Miami Gardens boy Trayvon Martin in 2012, is still alive. Brett Clarkson,, "Jay-Z addresses XXXTentacion's killing while dissing Trump and George Zimmerman on Drake's new album," 1 July 2018 Also on Friday, a top congressional Democrat questioned how Pruitt obtained tickets to the Rose Bowl college football game with the help of the founder of a firm doing communications work for energy companies. Jennifer A Dlouhy,, "Trump Says He’s ‘Not Happy’ With EPA’s Pruitt Amid Ethics Scandals," 15 June 2018 He was still being questioned by detectives a little before 4 p.m. and his name was not immediately available, Hernandez said. Alex Riggins,, "Bus stabbing sends victim to hospital with life-threatening injuries, ends in arrest," 11 July 2018 Najib and his wife, who have been questioned over the SRC issue by the anti-graft agency, have been barred from leaving the country. Eileen Ng, The Christian Science Monitor, "Former Malaysian leader arrested for theft, money laundering," 3 July 2018

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for question


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin quaestion-, quaestio, from quaerere to seek, ask

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Statistics for question

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for question

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

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More Definitions for question



English Language Learners Definition of question

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information or is used to test someone's knowledge

: a matter or problem that is being discussed : a subject or topic

: doubt or uncertainty about something



English Language Learners Definition of question (Entry 2 of 2)

: to ask (someone) questions about something

: to have or express doubt about (something)


ques·tion | \ˈkwes-chən \

Kids Definition of question

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something asked Please answer my question.

2 : a topic discussed or argued about The book raises several questions.

3 : objection sense 1 He obeyed without question.

4 : doubt or uncertainty about something I trust him without question.

5 : possibility sense 1, chance There was no question of escape.


questioned; questioning

Kids Definition of question (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to ask questions of or about Lawyers questioned the witness.

2 : to have or express doubts about They questioned his loyalty.



Legal Definition of question 

1 : a particular query directed to a witness — compare interrogatory

hypothetical question \ˌhī-pə-ˈthe-ti-kəl- \

: a question directed to an expert witness (as a physician) that is based on the existence of facts offered in evidence and the answer to which is an opinion to be considered in light of the evidence

Note: Modern rules of evidence have lessened the need for a hypothetical question setting forth all of the facts to be assumed in answering the question. An expert witness may state an opinion based on data or facts considered reliable in his or her field even if not already disclosed or not admissible as evidence.

leading question

: a question so framed or presented as to suggest a particular answer leading questions should not be used on the direct examination of a witness except as may be necessary to develop the witness' testimonyFederal Rules of Evidence Rule 611(c)

Note: Leading questions are permitted in cross-examination and in direct examination of an adverse witness or one who is a child or has a communication disorder.

2 : a particular matter or issue that is in dispute, uncertain, or to be inquired into

certified question

1 : a question of state law that may determine the outcome of a case pending in a federal court and that is submitted by the federal court to the state's highest court when there is no controlling state precedent

2 : a question of law submitted to a federal or state court by a lower court or tribunal

federal question

: a question that falls under the jurisdiction of a federal court because it requires a resolution of the construction or application of federal law — see also federal question jurisdiction at jurisdiction

political question

: a question that the court declines to consider because it involves a political matter that is not justiciable without infringing on the powers of the executive or legislative branch or is not accompanied by guiding policy or discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it — see also political question doctrine

question of fact

: a question that depends on an examination of factual matters, is usually decided by a jury, and is usually not considered on appeal

question of law

: a question that depends on an examination of law rather than fact, is decided by a judge rather than by a jury, and may be examined on appeal

3 : a proposition submitted to a vote (as in a referendum)

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Comments on question

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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