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 The question has since been removed from the website. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin not planning to seek repayment on $300 federal unemployment benefit," 17 Sep. 2020 One big question was whether spectators would be permitted at CPS prep sporting events. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, "As spectator decision looms, CPS sports parents relieved, cautious about start of season," 17 Sep. 2020 One big question is whether one of these mutations could change the effectiveness of any vaccines or treatments. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "Novel coronavirus is mutating slowly, but large mutations are possible, Arizona researchers find," 17 Sep. 2020 Amid the pandemic, with the stakes higher than ever, a new logistical nightmare of a question arose: Postpone or go virtual? Sonia Rao, Washington Post, "What will the virtual Emmys look like? Producer says they will be ‘making up things as we go along.’," 17 Sep. 2020 Return of football boosts student morale in the Big Ten, although some question players' access to tests. oregonlive, "With Oregon and California governors signing off, Pac-12 charges ahead toward a fall football season: Issues & Answers," 17 Sep. 2020 With major renovations out of the question, swapping dated hardware is an easy way to give your space a fresh look without disgruntling you landlord. Nathalie Kirby, House Beautiful, "9 Smart Ways to Personalize a Rental When You Can't Paint," 17 Sep. 2020 The timing of the special meeting reflects concern that waiting until the next regular board meeting on Oct. 1 to take up the question would be too long to wait to play football this fall. David La Vaque, Star Tribune, "Monday meeting set to take up restarting prep football, volleyball seasons this fall," 16 Sep. 2020 With one or several Chinese vaccines set to reach the market in coming months, a looming question is which countries will distribute a Chinese vaccine. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "China’s controversial emergency-use program for COVID vaccines is going global," 16 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those hearings have led lawmakers to question how much the Republican governor knew about McGrath’s quest for the severance payment. Pamela Wood,, "Maryland lawmakers may force former Hogan chief of staff to answer questions about payout," 16 Sep. 2020 Reasons for leaving: Antetokounmpo has cause to question how serious the Bucks are about winning. Connor Letourneau,, "Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future: Why Warriors could still have a chance," 9 Sep. 2020 The Mulan legend hasn’t been widely associated with Xinjiang, a fact that led critics to question why Disney decided to work with authorities there. WSJ, "Disney’s ‘Mulan’ Faces Controversy Over Filming in China’s Xinjiang," 8 Sep. 2020 Critics, such as members of Coastal Women for Change, a local advocacy group, began to question why government officials prioritized casinos over nearby homes. Jennifer Trivedi, The Conversation, "Biloxi’s 15-year recovery from Hurricane Katrina offers lessons for other coastal cities," 25 Aug. 2020 The timing of this affair -- more than 30 years ago -- led me to question the paternity of our daughter. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: ‘What do we do now?’ Dad finds he’s not his 30-year-old daughter’s biological father," 10 Aug. 2020 But the overall observation has led some to question whether school closures were warranted in the first place. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "Reopened schools in Europe and Asia have largely avoided coronavirus outbreaks. They have lessons for the U.S.," 11 July 2020 In 2017, when henna and Bindis became a trend popularised at events like Coachella, Pugh began to question her own past usage and respect for Indian culture. Lydia Wang,, "Florence Pugh Addresses Her Past Cultural Appropriation & Apologises For “Poor Decisions”," 30 June 2020 That's led investors to question the wisdom of the deal. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Apple and Disney prove reopening isn't easy," 25 June 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

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Question.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 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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