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
3a : doubt, dispute
b : to subject to analysis : examine

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Other Words from question


questioner noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for question

Synonyms: Noun

interrogative, problem

Synonyms: Verb

challenge, contest, dispute, impeach, oppugn, query

Antonyms: Verb

accept, believe, embrace, swallow

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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


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?


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

However, Saudi Aramco has not responded publicly to questions about its facilities. Washington Post, "US blames Iran for Saudi strike; big hit for oil prices," 16 Sep. 2019 Saudi Aramco did not immediately respond to questions from the AP. Fox News, "Drone strikes target world's largest oil processing facility, Saudi oil field; attack claimed by Iranian-backed rebels," 15 Sep. 2019 There is no simple answer to the question because there are so many variables. Christen A. Johnson,, "Your friends in a relationship have split, but you like one better. Here’s how to keep both friendships alive.," 14 Sep. 2019 Saturday’s loss to the Black Knights didn’t provide any answers to the questions that the Roadrunners need. Nick Talbot,, "UTSA’s loss to Army not a setback," 14 Sep. 2019 Later on, Senator Kamala Harris, of California, in response to a question about trade policy, appeared to suggest that President Donald Trump’s reproductive organ isn’t as large as advertised. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Joe Biden at the Third Democratic Debate: the Good, the Bad, and the Record Player," 13 Sep. 2019 My intent is to explain to readers how the U-T goes about presenting the news and to answer reader questions. Adrian Vore, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Meet the Union-Tribune’s interns; who and what are behind the readers’ rep post?," 13 Sep. 2019 But the encounters nevertheless suggest answers to two pressing questions: how are the tribes organising themselves? The Economist, "When two tribes go to lunch," 12 Sep. 2019 Each participant will have 1 minute and 15 seconds for direct response to questions and 45 seconds for responses and rebuttals. Leada Gore |, al, "Democratic presidential debate: Time, channel, how to watch; Who will be on the stage?," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Authorities have issued a warrant for second-degree homicide to Jones' husband, Michael Waye Jones Jr. He is currently being questioned in connection with her death. Htv National Desk, Houston Chronicle, "Florida mother found dead; her 4 children have been missing for 6 weeks," 16 Sep. 2019 They will be questioned by prosecutors, defense attorneys and the judge about their ability to serve. Washington Post, "The Latest: Jury pool asked about bias in ex-cop murder case," 15 Sep. 2019 Now Fleck and offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca are being questioned for an scheme that includes its own version of that style of offense, heavy doses of the Gophers’ bread-and-butter play: inside zone. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers offense will continue to run first, pass when necessary," 15 Sep. 2019 Two of the three women involved are in custody and will be questioned. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Wauwatosa nail salon owner was shot in the toe during a fight among patrons, police say," 10 Sep. 2019 In some cases, Muslims are being pressured by the FBI to become informants after they are questioned at the border or at airports. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Muslims hope judge's ruling against terror watch list ends harassment by feds," 9 Sep. 2019 Skip to main content The two men who were questioned after an alarm set off at Newark Liberty Airport on Labor Day sparked panic have spoken out, saying they were racially profiled. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Two men accuse Alaska Airlines employee of racial profiling after Newark Airport evacuation," 8 Sep. 2019 Start of evidence The first prosecution witness was Myung Sun Kwon, Sun Yi Kwon’s daughter, who was questioned about her mother’s physical state before and after the attack. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "‘It is a real human phenomenon’: East Bay murder suspect was necrophiliac, not killer, defense says," 6 Sep. 2019 And Apple’s position as both a giant app store and as a powerful app maker itself, is being questioned. Wired, "What to Expect From Apple’s Fall Hardware Extravaganza," 6 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

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for question

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

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More Definitions for question



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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