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

The Justice Department is shaking up the legal team fighting for the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census but offered no specifics on why the change was being made., "Today: Harsh Reality on the Rio Grande," 8 July 2019 There are a few oblique references that bring that into question. Chuck Yarborough,, "‘The Fall of the American Empire’ takes an unusual look at whether money CAN buy happiness (review)," 8 July 2019 The change announced Sunday comes days after the department vowed to continue to try to find a legal path forward to include the question on the census. Mike Balsamo,, "Justice Department shaking up legal team fighting for inclusion of citizenship question on 2020 census," 7 July 2019 Trump is not giving up on adding the citizenship question to America's 2020 census, even after the Supreme Court decided otherwise. Megan Marples And Delaney Strunk, CNN, "Settle in with these weekend reads," 5 July 2019 Meanwhile, a federal judge rejected the Trump administration’s request to freeze a lawsuit alleging the White House intended to discriminate against Hispanics with its drive to add the citizenship question. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Administration Presses Bid on Census Question," 5 July 2019 Tacking on the citizenship question through an addendum is also fraught with legal and practical risks. John Wagner,, "Government lawyers step up effort to get a citizenship question on 2020 Census, court filing shows," 5 July 2019 An executive order would not, by itself, override court rulings blocking the inclusion of the citizenship question. Jill Colvin, Twin Cities, "US to pursue citizenship question on census but path unclear," 5 July 2019 In response to questions about New York’s investigation, a Facebooks spokesman pointed ProPublica to the civil rights audit. Ariana Tobin, ProPublica, "New York Is Investigating Whether Facebook Lets Advertisers Discriminate," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Be prepared to clearly explain your rationales if questioned. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for July 8, 2019: Happy birthday Milo Ventimiglia; Sagittarius, friends want you to settle their fights," 8 July 2019 Le was also ensnared in a controversy during Sheriff Laurie Smith’s re-election bid last fall when the Board of Supervisors questioned why the Sheriff’s Office was routinely spending more than twice its overtime budget. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, "Retired jail captain spars with Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office over her abrupt departure, gazebo," 8 July 2019 The news of Spacey’s questioning follows on the heels of the withdrawal of a civil case against him in Nantucket on Friday. Phil Boucher,, "Kevin Spacey Questioned by Scotland Yard Detectives About Allegations of Sexual Assault in London," 7 July 2019 Local Democrats loudly objected, openly questioning Castañeda’s political loyalty. Gilbert Garcia,, "South Side activist led the charge against Harlandale superintendent," 6 July 2019 Meehan said Keep Lakewood Beautiful members recently questioned whether to continue the Beautiful Home Award. John Benson,, "Keep Lakewood Beautiful accepting Beautiful Home Award nominations," 5 July 2019 Critics question streetcar's viability As negotiations over potential future extensions play out, the city's handling of funding for the existing route has also drawn criticism. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Delays to Milwaukee streetcar extension jeopardize funding source, Barrett administration says," 5 July 2019 Ivanka Trump was photographed front and center with world leaders at the G-20 summit, but some Democrats are questioning her suitability. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "'Foreign leaders loved her': Donald Trump defends daughter Ivanka's role as unofficial diplomat," 5 July 2019 John-Rexie Lagman, 22, was located nearby, questioned and taken into custody, police said. Anchorage Daily News, "Teen shot after fight breaks out at Anchorage elementary school basketball court," 3 July 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

11 Jul 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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Comments on question

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to complain fretfully

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