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 Going forward, the question is how the Court should treat less egregious restrictions, as the Court’s opinion is rather vague as to where the line is. The Editors, National Review, "The Supreme Court Got Church Restrictions Right," 29 Nov. 2020 The question is whether Michigan’s defensive backs have overcompensated by becoming too tentative for fear of being flagged. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's secondary scarred by penalties: 'It affected us a lot'," 26 Nov. 2020 The question wasn’t whether prosecutors need to turn over the transcripts, eventually, but how far in advance of a trial scheduled to begin Jan. 11. John Simerman,, "Judge grants Jason Williams access to grand jury transcripts in bid to toss tax indictment," 25 Nov. 2020 The question is whether the PC trend has staying power. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Is this the laptop bubble?," 25 Nov. 2020 At that point, Washington State, which plays in the Pac-12, planned to begin its season in September; the question was whether fans would be allowed to attend the games. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Is College Football Making the Pandemic Worse?," 25 Nov. 2020 The question is whether COVAX would want to pay a premium now, or wait for a cheaper option to gain approval. NBC News, "Creating a Covid-19 vaccine is only the first step. Reaching the world is the next.," 24 Nov. 2020 The question is whether that will hamper the young sparrows come spring, when the world may have returned to its loud, pre-pandemic routine. Nora Mishanec,, "‘A sweeter song’: Bay Area sparrows thriving hushed cityscapes," 24 Nov. 2020 Based on the way the NFL has treated the Colts since the retirement of Peyton Manning, the question isn’t whether Indianapolis is one of the league’s best ratings draws. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: The NFL hates putting the Colts in prime time, and it doesn't make any sense," 24 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Part of her methodology for CBT is to question those beliefs. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, "Fight winter blues by changing your mindset," 17 Nov. 2020 All of this led Jones to question what more could be done. David Moore, Dallas News, "Why Jerry Jones ramped up Cowboys' COVID-19 measures, created bubble for nearly 80 staff members," 17 Nov. 2020 Reddit users did question some things about the data, with the top comment noting the ZIP codes were not all from Wayne County, which was true. Ashley Nerbovig, USA TODAY, "Internet sleuths use misinformation in attempt to prove dead people voted in Michigan," 11 Nov. 2020 Opponents of the measure question the wisdom of allowing wildlife management practices to be determined at the ballot box. Outdoor Life, "Colorado Voted to Reintroduce Gray Wolves. Here’s What You Need to Know," 11 Nov. 2020 Not only does the $11,000 volume not sell, the potential buyer might question the logic of buying the book at all. James Tarmy,, "Retail Might Be Struggling, But the Rich Are Buying Rare Books," 9 Nov. 2020 Some statisticians question its applicability, particularly in an election where ballot counters are organizing returns in a manner that differs from precinct to precinct. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Trump campaign staff claims to have statistical evidence of fraud in Wisconsin," 8 Nov. 2020 And recruits would be fair to question what the future in Ann Arbor would look like. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan mailbag: Why Juwan Howard should compete for a title in the next five years," 6 Nov. 2020 But political strategists question whether the Lincoln Project’s ads, which are vastly entertaining for anti-Trump Democrats, are likely to induce wavering Republicans to bolt. Doyle Mcmanus Washington Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Biden’s secret weapon: Anti-Trump Republicans," 1 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

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Question.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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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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