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

And despite the governor's public concern for single mothers, there have also been growing questions about how the Kenyan parliament treats its women members. Farai Sevenzo And Kagweni Micheni, CNN, "He revealed a lawmaker's affair at his funeral. Now he's set up a hotline to out deadbeat politician dads," 19 Aug. 2019 Running elections has been a state responsibility, and there are legitimate questions about further federalizing it. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Only One Republican Supported That Divisive Election Security Bill. Here’s Why He Voted in Favor—Cyber Saturday," 17 Aug. 2019 There's no question that Google, Facebook, etc. have enormous market concentration. Matt Laslo, WIRED, "Josh Hawley Says Tech Enables 'Some of the Worst of America'," 16 Aug. 2019 Until the partnership actually begins operating, there are a lot more questions than answers. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "The controversy surrounding Jay-Z’s new partnership with the NFL, explained," 16 Aug. 2019 This is the question that people both inside and outside of the country are increasingly asking. K.n.c., The Economist, "India cannot flourish without individual freedom," 16 Aug. 2019 Raised by a Ghanaian professor and a white mother from upstate New York, he was taught from an early age to ask questions and to be skeptical of power. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Vic Mensa on Protest Music, Xenophobia, and His American Dream," 16 Aug. 2019 Hanging over that reporting was a question, one asked by us and by current and former law enforcement officials worried about the threat of white supremacist terror: Where was the FBI? Joe Sexton, ProPublica, "Las Vegas Man Arrested in Plots Against Jews Was Said to Be Affiliated With Atomwaffen Division," 14 Aug. 2019 From climbing iconic bridges in Sydney and trying anti-gravity yoga in Bali, to riding fast and furious in Abu Dhabi and taking epic around the world adventures with her daughter, there is no question that Mrs. Harvey knows how to see some world. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "WATCH: Marjorie Harvey's Video Reminds Us All Why She's The Queen of Slaycations," 14 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sources told the Times that Trump enjoyed watching Ratcliffe aggressively question Mueller, but denied this was the reason that the Texas congressman got the job. David Rohde, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Message to U.S. Intelligence Officials: Be Loyal or Leave," 29 July 2019 Ratcliffe aggressively questioned Robert Mueller in last week's hearing on the former special counsel's report. CBS News, "Trump nominating John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as intel chief," 28 July 2019 Himes hears from Mueller: U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, got his chance Wednesday to question former special counsel Robert Mueller about his comprehensive report investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Russell Blair,, "Capitol Week in Review: Himes vs. Mueller; Hartford Democrats back Bronin," 26 July 2019 Chabot sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which questioned special counsel Robert Mueller on his investigation into whether the Trump obstructed justice and colluded with Russia. Scott Wartman,, "Chabot comes to Trump's defense in Mueller hearing. Calls his report a 'one-sided attack.'," 24 July 2019 Speier questioned Mueller as part of the Intelligence Committee. Tal Kopan,, "Mueller testimony brings ‘new phase’ but no smoking gun for Democrats," 24 July 2019 Arizona’s three members of the committee were among the last members to question Mueller. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Arizona Republican faults Mueller for Trump-Russia probe costs, casts report as waste," 24 July 2019 Republicans and Democrats took divergent paths in questioning Mueller. Michael Balsamo, Twin Cities, "Mueller dismisses Trump’s claims of Russia probe exoneration," 24 July 2019 Mueller is finally being questioned after weeks of subpoenas, wrangling, and rescheduling. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How to Watch the Robert Mueller Testimony," 24 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

22 Aug 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

What made you want to look up question? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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