ques·​tion | \ ˈkwes-chən How to pronounce question (audio) , 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

Synonyms & Antonyms for question

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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

Noun 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? Verb 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 vaccination site operators also didn’t answer a question about the method that will be used -- first-come, first-served or oldest first -- that will be used to dole out appointments. oregonlive, "Portland-area residents tried 400,000 times to book 3,400 COVID vaccine appointments, prompting change to despised system," 27 Feb. 2021 On its surface, VaccineFinder is a definitive tool to help the public answer one highly personal question. Katie Palmer, STAT, "‘A full court press’: Banking on tech backup, CDC launches nationwide VaccineFinder tool," 27 Feb. 2021 If Thursday's selloff is a guide, that question is being asked these days. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, "Bonds Hold The Key: Wall Street Feels Calmer After Harrowing Thursday, With Yields Stepping Back," 26 Feb. 2021 Leading public health experts disagree about how to answer that question. Soumya Karlamangla, Los Angeles Times, "Your place in the COVID-19 vaccine line depends on where you live," 26 Feb. 2021 Ballroom has been courageous in daring to ask the question: in this moment of Black Lives Matter, which Black lives matter most? Michael Roberson, Time, "The Ballroom Scene Has Long Offered Radical Freedoms For Black and Brown Queer People. Today, That Matters More Than Ever," 26 Feb. 2021 Scientists are trying to answer that question now and say it’s possible people might need annual shots, just like with the flu vaccine, especially as more variants emerge and become dominant. Meredith Cohn,, "Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine: What you need to know with the single-dose vaccine set to reach Maryland," 25 Feb. 2021 One drugmaker, Pfizer, will attempt to answer that question with a clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine on pregnant women, the company announced last week. Katia Hetter, CNN, "I'm pregnant... should I get the Covid-19 vaccine?," 25 Feb. 2021 That question is the subject of a heated scientific debate and investigations that may ultimately lead to a better understanding of both ailments. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "Unraveling the Complex Link Between COVID and Diabetes," 24 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Continuous learning is the only way to ensure children have the knowledge to be able to question, research and make their own judgments on what is safe or real online. Al Kingsley, Forbes, "Staying Safe Online: Why Education Is More Important Than Ever," 26 Feb. 2021 Watch out, though: There's real animus on Reddit, where these rallies are nurtured, towards CNBC's Jim Cramer, Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger and any other Wall Street veteran who dares to question the fundamentals of the latest surge. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Investor jitters go global," 26 Feb. 2021 County health officers have said that improvement was largely the result of state data issues being corrected, prompting some to question the need for a new system under Blue Shield. Los Angeles Times, "UC says Blue Shield sought ‘expansive’ patient data as part of its COVID-19 work for California," 26 Feb. 2021 For curious minds that like to question their surroundings, The Westin brings in local naturalists and experts. Sucheta Rawal, Travel + Leisure, "5 Best Family-friendly Hotels on Hilton Head Island," 26 Feb. 2021 July 2, 2020: Johnson presents his report, which suggests police rushed to question Haywood because Morales was considering him for the board of the Milwaukee Police Foundation. Gina Barton,, "A rape accusation against a prominent Milwaukee developer set off a series of events that brought years of turmoil to the surface," 24 Feb. 2021 The co-plaintiffs are civil parties who under German law can join the prosecutors’ case and testify in court, but are also allowed to question witnesses. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "German Court Convicts Former Syrian Official of Crimes Against Humanity," 24 Feb. 2021 But Democrats are also starting to question Biden’s policies. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Biden backlash: ‘Immigration Index’ shows rejection of open borders," 23 Feb. 2021 By contrast, those who are willing to question their own assumptions and adopt new perspectives are in the best position to arrive at new insights. Richard Gunderman, The Conversation, "John Keats’ concept of ‘negative capability’ – or sitting in uncertainty – is needed now more than ever," 22 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for question

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for question

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Question.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce question (audio) \

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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