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
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 Computer questions: The Northeast Ohio Personal Computers group will hear from Peter Anderson at the next meeting, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb 12 at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, Westlake. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "Fairview Park Meals on Wheels seeks volunteers, donations, clients: A Place in the Sun," 5 Feb. 2020 Billboard staffers debate these questions and more below. 1. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Billboard Staffers Discuss Dua Lipa's 'Don't Start Now' Hitting the Top 10," 4 Feb. 2020 Despite evidence that Brittany had been assaulted by Todd prior to the deadly shooting, the question of whether she was legally justified in killing him revolves around what was happening in the final moments of his life. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Judge will not dismiss case against Alabama woman who says she killed rapist in self-defense," 4 Feb. 2020 The bad tend to out number the good so often that the question logically follows: If getting it right is so hard, why even try at all? Alex Pastron, Bon Appétit, "I Have Been to Pastry Heaven and There Are Rainbow Cookies," 4 Feb. 2020 China’s grim new reality is that everything, economic policy included, revolves around the question of how to beat the virus. The Economist, "Companies warn of economic crisis as China fights the coronavirus," 4 Feb. 2020 Ask any tech question at or on Twitter @TheDataDoc. Ken Colburn, azcentral, "Expensive repairs, scarce parts among reasons to avoid all-in-one PCs," 3 Feb. 2020 In addition, some tax refunds may be held back beyond the February date if the IRS has questions on the return. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Thousands of metro Detroiters are missing out on Earned Income Tax Credit," 3 Feb. 2020 Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel mostly deflected questions from CBS' Margaret Brennan during a Face the Nation appearance Sunday about her uncle Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). TheWeek, "RNC chair refuses to criticize or defend her uncle Mitt Romney after he was barred from conservative conference," 2 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On cross examination, defense lawyers questioned Ms. Young about apparent inconsistencies in her testimony. Deanna Paul, WSJ, "Last Harvey Weinstein Accuser Testifies He Groped Her in Beverly Hills Hotel," 5 Feb. 2020 Some social media users questioned if Pompeo even knew the episode his meme was referencing. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Memes flood the internet after Nancy Pelosi rips up Trump's State of the Union speech," 5 Feb. 2020 As the day dragged on, Warren questioned why the Iowa party wasn't waiting to release a full tally. Nicholas Riccardi, Anchorage Daily News, "What went wrong in Iowa and what’s next," 5 Feb. 2020 Former offensive coordinator Todd Monken also questioned Callaway’s dedication. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Approaching Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry with an open mind," 5 Feb. 2020 In the hearing, Pierce questioned whether Brittany had truly feared for her life. Elizabeth Flock, The New Yorker, "Brittany Smith Loses Her Stand Your Ground Hearing," 4 Feb. 2020 In court, Pierce questioned why Brittany initially told a 911 dispatcher that she hadn’t been raped. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Judge will not dismiss case against Alabama woman who says she killed rapist in self-defense," 4 Feb. 2020 Police were questioning a woman after a man was fatally shot at an east-side apartment complex Monday. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Man killed in shooting at east-side apartment complex in Indianapolis," 3 Feb. 2020 At a Thursday hearing, Republican Rep. Michael Schraa of Oshkosh questioned how the state could afford the measures. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Some Wisconsin Republicans want to crack down on crime, but their plans would cost millions of dollars," 30 Jan. 2020

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

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Question.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for question


How to pronounce question (audio)

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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