question mark


Definition of question mark 

1a : something unknown, unknowable, or uncertain

b : someone (such as an athlete) whose condition, talent, or potential for success is in doubt

2 : a mark ? used in writing and printing at the conclusion of a sentence to indicate a direct question

Examples of question mark in a Sentence

The team's pitching is a big question mark this season.

Recent Examples on the Web

Going forward: The Spurs’ biggest question mark heading into an offseason full of them, after a lost season saw the two-time All-Star miss all but nine games to injury. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "A look at what to expect this offseason from the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and others," 28 Apr. 2018 The biggest question mark is quarterback, where one of two young five-star recruits could unseat returning starter Kelly Bryant. Creg Stephenson,, " All-Access: Give me your 2018 Final Four ... no, I mean in football," 30 Mar. 2018 The biggest question mark is Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky who held up the last spending bill and forced a brief government shutdown. Lauren Fox, CNN, "Grumbling, frustration on Capitol Hill as members anxiously await spending bill," 20 Mar. 2018 That testing, which came back clear, knocked out some of the questions and question marks for the rest of the pregnancy. The Cut, The Cut, "The Mom Who Kept the Remains From Her Abortion in Her Purse," 29 Mar. 2018 With Braun in left and Santana in right, center is the lone outfield question mark. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers chat with Tom Haudricourt," 10 Oct. 2017 The linebacker corps is the biggest question mark for a defense that appears stout along the front and talented and deep in the secondary. Gary Klein,, "Cory Littleton is in the middle of Rams' rebuilt defense at linebacker," 4 June 2018 Receiver may be the biggest question mark heading into the 2018 season with the departures of first team all-conference selection Bailey (878 yards, nine touchdowns), Porter (548 yards, four touchdowns) and Niupalau (368 yards, four touchdowns). Matt Murschel,, "Eastern Michigan steadily improves, is No. 85 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 3 June 2018 But MoviePass’ ability to turn a profit remains the biggest question mark lingering over the service. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "MoviePass Has a Risky Plan to Stay Alive: Make Its Own Movies," 31 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of question mark

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for question mark

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for question mark

The first known use of question mark was in 1862

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More Definitions for question mark

question mark


English Language Learners Definition of question mark

: the punctuation mark ? that is used after a direct question or to indicate that something (such as a birth date) is uncertain

: someone or something that causes feelings of doubt or uncertainty

question mark


Kids Definition of question mark

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

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