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

In an Oscars full of question marks, Malek’s win seems the most assured. Lindsey Bahr, The Seattle Times, "AP Oscar predictions: What will win, what should win," 20 Feb. 2019 An employee of Pleasantdale School, at 7450 Wolf Road, reported someone spray painted a large, black question mark on an overhead door of a garage between 6 p.m. June 15 and 8 a.m. June 18. Kimberly Fornek,, "Police: Dead red-tailed hawk found in Burr Ridge might have been electrocuted," 25 June 2018 There should be a black box with a question mark on it. Fox News, "Gutfeld: The media need to focus on reality instead of fear," 21 July 2018 For all those who watch him, this moment represents a very specific kind of kinetic question mark. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Annoying Genius Who Makes the World Cup Worth Watching," 5 July 2018 This has been an ongoing topic through the offseason and my initial response is if the Bears brought back Houston or Young, two veterans who remain on the street as free agents, would that make the position any less of a question mark? Brad Biggs,, "Bears Q&A: How does offense stack up to '17 Chiefs? What position battles loom on offensive line?," 12 June 2018 Their bullpen was built on the cheap and looked like a question mark entering the year. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks find ways to win, clinch another series victory," 28 Apr. 2018 Saturday looks great for outdoor activities, while Sunday is more of a question mark. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Slightly warmer today, with serious spring warmth on our doorstep," 11 Apr. 2018 Even with Joe Thornton’s status a question mark, the Sharks have adequate three-line forward depth. Jimmy Hascup, USA TODAY, "Debate: Who is NHL's Stanley Cup favorite?," 2 Apr. 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

19 Mar 2019

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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
chiefly US : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on question mark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with question mark

Spanish Central: Translation of question mark

Nglish: Translation of question mark for Spanish Speakers

Comments on question mark

What made you want to look up question mark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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