question mark


: something unknown, unknowable, or uncertain
: someone (such as an athlete) whose condition, talent, or potential for success is in doubt
: a mark ? used in writing and printing at the conclusion of a sentence to indicate a direct question

Example Sentences

The team's pitching is a big question mark this season.
Recent Examples on the Web Even electronic shelf labels that allow retailers to automatically update pricing displays are a question mark, in part because of their bandwidth demands, said Mr. Kosla. Isabelle Bousquette, WSJ, 26 Jan. 2023 In addition to location, the Chiefs also have a question mark on their quarterback for next week’s game. Mark Inabinett |, al, 21 Jan. 2023 Meanwhile, the Jets have lost their last three games and still have a question mark at the quarterback position. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 20 Dec. 2022 Tennessee will have a big question mark at quarterback as Ryan Tannehill is questionable with an ankle injury, but rookie backup Malik Willis led the Titans to victory last week. Doug Ziefel, Chicago Tribune, 6 Nov. 2022 One man, Anatoly Shevchenko, had a question mark next to his name. Valerie Hopkins,, 10 June 2022 Analysis: The Colts had one question mark along the starting offensive line and addressed it in the third round with Central Michigan tackle Bernhard Raimann, creating one of the more interesting battles of training camp. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 9 May 2022 For URLs that already have a question mark, add an ampersand like this: &t=00m00s. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 13 Feb. 2022 The Cavaliers have a question mark at quarterback as starter Brennan Armstrong may still be in concussion protocol. David Furones,, 23 Oct. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'question mark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of question mark was in 1862

Dictionary Entries Near question mark

Cite this Entry

“Question mark.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

question mark

: a punctuation mark ? used chiefly at the end of a sentence to indicate a direct question

More from Merriam-Webster on question mark

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?