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 The men are approached by a reporter asking what used to be an easy question. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Where’s the energy? Staples Center is a strange, cold place without fans," 18 Jan. 2021 But, as of next week, whether Trump should be removed from office will no longer be an operative question. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Trial of Donald Trump Must Tell the Full Story of the Capitol Insurrection," 15 Jan. 2021 Whether more transmissible variants will undermine school safety even in countries like Norway remains an open question, Brandal acknowledges. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "New coronavirus variant scrambles school risk calculations," 15 Jan. 2021 What all of this does for Caligula's reputation is an open question. Star Tribune, "Caligula's garden of delights, unearthed and restored," 14 Jan. 2021 How soon Nikola can jump-start its business—and justify its $6.5 billion valuation—is an open question. David Welch,, "Nikola Faces a Daunting Future With Far Fewer Friends Than Before," 14 Jan. 2021 Their actions—and their lack of contrition—raise an open question: Can members of Congress trust one another to keep each other safe? Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Call Is Coming From Inside the House (and Senate)," 13 Jan. 2021 How the role of social media will affect the outcome of the poll remains an open question. Geoffrey Ssenoga, Quartz Africa, "Social media gave a voice to democracy in Uganda so the government shut it down—again," 12 Jan. 2021 The ban was extended again last week and will remain in place until ICU bed availability increases to at least 15% in the area, leaving an open question about when the Sharks will be able to return to San Jose. Josh Dubow, ajc, "Sharks look to make most of extended road trip," 12 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard. Mark Dunphy,, "Gov. Greg Abbott calls FBI vetting National Guard troops ahead of inauguration 'offensive'," 19 Jan. 2021 No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Greg Abbott slams vetting of National Guard: He'll 'never' send troops again 'if they are disrespected like this'," 19 Jan. 2021 No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, "Abbott slams 'offensive' increased vetting of National Guardsmen ahead of inauguration," 19 Jan. 2021 Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee could question Ms. Yellen about the speaking fees, but Democrats are unlikely to press her on the issue. New York Times, "Yellen Readies Big Changes for Treasury," 18 Jan. 2021 After users’ accounts are blocked, police will often question them. Jing Yang, WSJ, "WeChat Becomes a Powerful Surveillance Tool Everywhere in China," 23 Dec. 2020 This time around, no one will question the concept. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "Porsche Cayenne Reaches Milestone: 1 Million Sold," 11 Dec. 2020 This time, however, some struggling small businesses may question whether another government loan is enough to keep them afloat. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vaccine plans stretch to reach as many as possible; business closures push many San Diegans past brink," 7 Dec. 2020 Some critics question the potential impact of looser Mexican gun laws on national security in the U.S. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Are Mexico's stringent gun control laws aiding a rise in cartel violence?," 14 Nov. 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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Question.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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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