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 Mayor Ed Kraus and other staff members will be on hand to explain and answer questions about the proposal. Ed Wittenberg,, "Solon residents recognized for life-saving actions," 17 Sep. 2019 Lewandowski ultimately answered questions from Democratic counsel Barry Berke. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Lewandowski sidesteps questions about Mueller report at House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing," 17 Sep. 2019 This week’s Huntsville prep picks tries to answer all those questions. Josh Bean |, al, "Huntsville HS football picks: Can Sparkman, Austin and James Clemens stay hot?," 17 Sep. 2019 One by one, prominent scientists and thinkers more accustomed to being celebrated for their world-changing ideas and research answered awkward questions about their connections to Epstein. Washington Post, "Jeffrey Epstein, the academy and questions about male dominance in science," 17 Sep. 2019 The governor’s office declined to answer questions about whether Siebel Newsom held similar meetings. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Gavin Newsom defends his actions on new California vaccine laws," 16 Sep. 2019 The senator from Massachusetts did not answer back-to-back questions about whether middle class taxes would go up from her version of Medicare for All. Hope Yen, The Denver Post, "Associated Press fact check: Trump, Democrats and their tale of two countries," 14 Sep. 2019 Volunteers have also visited businesses directly to answer questions about the ordinance, Slomski-Pirtz said. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage’s plastic bag ban takes effect Sunday. Here’s what to expect.," 13 Sep. 2019 To be certain, Ilitch is not required to answer any questions. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers owner still whiffing on the big question: When will wins come?," 13 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Roger Shubert questioned whether the city has asked MWRD if the promised grant reimbursement could be used to build permeable residential alleys instead. Jennifer Johnson,, "Grant money for a 'green’ parking lot in Park Ridge is on hold," 16 Sep. 2019 Italian authorities are questioning 12 leaders from a hardcore section of Juventus' supporter base over a string of alleged offences., "Police Arrest 12 Members of Juventus Ultras Club on Numerous Charges," 16 Sep. 2019 Some might question the accuracy of his calls, but there’s no doubting the accuracy of those throws. Matt Schubert, The Denver Post, "Broncos up-down drill: Best and worst performances against the Bears," 15 Sep. 2019 And no one is questioning whether these Longhorns are bought-in, not anymore. Nick Moyle,, "No. 12 Texas dominates Rice in final Big 12 tune-up," 14 Sep. 2019 But critics, including faculty, questioned the math and said consolidation would destroy the universities’ unique identities. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Regents vote to consider options beyond a controversial university consolidation," 14 Sep. 2019 But School Board members questioned whether the suspension was too lenient, given this was her second incident. Scott Travis,, "Assistant principal accused of striking student retires," 13 Sep. 2019 Hyde questioned whether there was a difference among 98, 100 and 104 losses in terms of the feelings those numbers evoke. Nathan Ruiz,, "Orioles’ Brandon Hyde focused on individual improvement, not win-loss milestones, in season’s final weeks," 13 Sep. 2019 Democrats are once again questioning President Donald Trump’s fitness as commander in chief, while most Republicans shrugged off the criticisms and went about business as usual in Trumpland. Wired, "National Security Is in Trump's Hands," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for question

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for question

The first known use of question was in the 14th century

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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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a calculated move

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