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

The action affected more than 100 flights a day and not only had a serious impact on international travel, but called into question the safety of the plane itself. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Often Do New Airplanes Have Problems?," 2 Nov. 2018 For Jackson, this called into question LIGO's ability to sufficiently distinguish between signal and noise and, hence, the validity of the detection itself. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Danish physicists claim to cast doubt on detection of gravitational waves," 1 Nov. 2018 Just last month, his tactics for selling merch to children were called into question by a fellow creator. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Jake Paul ‘doesn’t see a problem’ with how he markets merch to kids," 19 Oct. 2018 During that time, the two spacecraft will investigate a range of questions about Mercury. Meghan Bartels,, "BepiColombo, the First Mercury Mission in 14 Years, Launches Tonight — Watch Live!," 19 Oct. 2018 While this may feel like as no huge deal, Swift's political leanings have continually been called into question. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Taylor Swift Endorses Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, Two Democrats in Tennessee," 8 Oct. 2018 Now, the preservation of the building has been called into question as the owner extends the bidding period for potential buyers. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Alvar Aalto’s iconic sanatorium under threat as new buyer sought," 27 Sep. 2018 In a lightning round of random questions at the end of Thursday night’s Republican debate at Mohegan Sun, conservative radio moderator Lee Elci posed the query. Daniela Altimari,, "Politics and the Price of Milk," 14 July 2018 No doubt this has left you with an overwhelming set of questions about the latest must-haves., "How To Shop Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale Before Everyone Else," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Researchers have questioned whether the economy is actually performing as well as the data says, accusing the government of manipulating poverty and growth statistics—a claim the government denies. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Rwanda: A Poster Child for Development With a Dark Side," 6 Nov. 2018 Since then, Mueller has questioned at least 10 people extensively about Stone. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Robert Mueller sure still is interested in Roger Stone," 2 Nov. 2018 Others have questioned how committed Kardashian is to prison reform. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Kim Kardashian Faces Backlash After Claiming She Has 'Nothing Bad to Say' About Donald Trump," 31 July 2018 Trump has long questioned the findings of intelligence agencies, suggesting alternate scenarios for who might have carried out the hacking campaigns., "12 Russian agents indicted in Mueller inquiry," 14 July 2018 In recent months, Mueller's investigators have extensively questioned longtime Stone associates such as Sam Nunberg and Michael Caputo, who both served as Trump advisers. Rosalind S. Helderman And Manuel Roig-franzia,, "Charges against Russian officers intensify spotlight on Trump adviser Stone," 13 July 2018 At every turn, Trump has questioned and denigrated the alliances and institutions that have kept America safe, prosperous, and free. Nina Jankowicz, The New Republic, "Available in Helsinki: the Fate of Eastern Europe," 13 July 2018 Shortly after that summit, Trump declared that the nuclear threat from North Korea was over, but critics have questioned whether North Korea will in fact give up its nuclear program — a central demand for Trump. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Kim Jong Un praises summit with U.S., describes Trump as 'your excellency' in letter," 12 July 2018 Many of Adler’s notions about birth order have been questioned or even discounted by subsequent psychologists, but his notion that middleness is a secret superpower is enjoying a resurgence. Adam Sternbergh, The Cut, "The Extinction of the Middle Child," 11 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

14 Nov 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).


a private place of worship

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