opin·​ion | \ ə-ˈpin-yən How to pronounce opinion (audio) \

Essential Meaning of opinion

1 : a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing Why ask (for) my opinion if you have already decided? I value your opinion. [=I respect the way you think about things] See More ExamplesWe asked for their opinions about/on the new stadium. In my opinion, it's the best car on the market. Most of the people surveyed have a high/low opinion of the organization. [=most of the people surveyed think that the organization is good/bad] She has enough knowledge of the system to offer an informed opinion [=an opinion based on information] of why it isn't working. The meeting will give residents a chance to listen to some expert opinions. [=opinions of experts] The owner of the store is often there to offer customers expert opinion. [=an expert's opinion] Which one is better is a matter of opinion. [=people have different opinions about which one is better] I'm glad that we can have a difference of opinion [=we can disagree] and still be friends. The general opinion is that the players are paid too much. [=most people think that the players are paid too much] The company has been unsuccessful in its efforts to sway/change public opinion. [=to change what most people think] Contrary to popular opinion [=despite what many people think], fame does not always bring happiness.Hide
2 : advice from someone with special knowledge : advice from an expert We're still seeking medical opinions [=advice from doctors] on the cause of the pain. My doctor says I need surgery, but I'm going to get a second opinion. [=advice from a second doctor to make sure advice from the first doctor is correct]
3 technical : a formal statement by a judge, court, etc., explaining the reasons a decision was made according to laws or rules The article discusses two recent Supreme Court opinions.

Full Definition of opinion

1a : a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter We asked them for their opinions about the new stadium.
b : approval, esteem I have no great opinion of his work.
2a : belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge a person of rigid opinions
b : a generally held view news programs that shape public opinion
3a : a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert My doctor says that I need an operation, but I'm going to get a second opinion.
b : the formal expression (as by a judge, court, or referee) of the legal reasons and principles upon which a legal decision is based The article discusses the recent Supreme Court opinion.

Other Words from opinion

opinioned \ ə-​ˈpin-​yənd How to pronounce opinion (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for opinion

opinion, view, belief, conviction, persuasion, sentiment mean a judgment one holds as true. opinion implies a conclusion thought out yet open to dispute. each expert seemed to have a different opinion view suggests a subjective opinion. very assertive in stating his views belief implies often deliberate acceptance and intellectual assent. a firm belief in her party's platform conviction applies to a firmly and seriously held belief. the conviction that animal life is as sacred as human persuasion suggests a belief grounded on assurance (as by evidence) of its truth. was of the persuasion that everything changes sentiment suggests a settled opinion reflective of one's feelings. her feminist sentiments are well-known

Examples of opinion in a Sentence

We asked for their opinions about the new stadium. In my opinion, it's the best car on the market. The article discusses two recent Supreme Court opinions.
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Recent Examples on the Web Their overarching opinion: mobile devices and task-specific apps could alleviate burden on hospitalists having to jog their memories to answer patient questions and could also reduce redundant actions in the hospital. Mario Aguilar, STAT, 9 Jan. 2022 Trump frequently called into Fox News' opinion shows, directly reaching his base without the filter of journalists. Arkansas Online, 9 Jan. 2022 Biden was lively and pointed because public opinion is with him. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 8 Jan. 2022 The new opinion from the public access counselor, however, will make that virtually impossible. Tony Cook, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Jan. 2022 Now, Zendaya is offering her own opinion on the matter. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 7 Jan. 2022 The bride-to-be is entitled to her opinion, and you are equally entitled to yours, so send your regrets and the reason for them, and do not allow yourself to be sucked into a debate about it. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 7 Jan. 2022 But Rockwell’s diary and interview seem to bolster the opinion, most recently and impressively stated by Walter Stahr in his 2017 biography of Stanton, that the line was a poetic fiction created in 1890 by Hay and Nicolay. Jason Emerson, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Jan. 2022 Lee, an outspoken liberal, is leading public opinion surveys. NBC News, 7 Jan. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opinion.' 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 opinion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for opinion

Middle English opinioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French opinion, borrowed from Latin opīniōn-, opīniō "what or how one thinks about something, expectation, estimation, reputation," from opīn-, base of opīnārī "to hold as an opinion, think, have in mind" (of obscure origin) + -iōn-, -iō, suffix of verbal action

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

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Opinion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opinion. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for opinion


opin·​ion | \ ə-ˈpin-yən How to pronounce opinion (audio) \

Kids Definition of opinion

1 : a belief based on experience and on certain facts but not amounting to sure knowledge In my opinion you should take the job.
2 : a judgment about a person or thing She has a high opinion of herself.
3 : a statement by an expert after careful study He should get an opinion from a lawyer.

Choose the Right Synonym for opinion

opinion and belief mean a judgment that someone thinks is true. opinion is used when the judgment is not yet final or certain but is founded on some facts. I soon changed my opinion of the plan. belief is used if the judgment is certain and firm in a person's own mind without regard to the amount or kind of evidence. It's my belief we'll win the election.


opin·​ion | \ ə-ˈpin-yən How to pronounce opinion (audio) \

Medical Definition of opinion

: a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert wanted a second opinion on the advisability of performing the operation


opin·​ion | \ ə-ˈpin-yən How to pronounce opinion (audio) \

Legal Definition of opinion

1a : a belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge
b : a formal expression of a judgment or appraisal by an expert — see also opinion testimony at testimony — compare fact
2a : advice or evaluation regarding the legal issues involved in a situation given by an attorney to a client an opinion of title

called also legal opinion

— see also opinion letter at letter sense 1
b : an advisory opinion issued by an authorized public official (as an attorney general) or a recognized body (as the American Bar Association)
3a : the formal written expression by a court or judge of the reasons and principles of law upon which the decision in a case is based — compare holding, judgment, ruling
advisory opinion
: a nonbinding opinion or evaluation of a court or other judicial or quasi-judicial authority or body regarding the effect of the law on a situation that does not present an actual controversy between parties to answer questions which were not brought before this Court would be to issue an advisory opinionJBC of Wyoming Corp. v. City of Cheyenne, 843 P.2d 1190 (1992)

Note: Advisory opinions are issued especially by administrative agencies and by some state courts. Federal courts are constrained by the U.S. Constitution to deciding only cases or controversies and cannot issue advisory opinions.

concurring opinion
: an opinion by a judge who agrees with the result in a case but not necessarily with the reasoning used to reach it
dissenting opinion
: an opinion by a judge who disagrees with the result in a case
majority opinion
: an opinion in a case that is written by one judge and in which a majority of the judges on the court join
memorandum opinion
1 : a brief opinion of a court that announces the result of a case without extensive discussion and that is usually unpublished and cannot be cited as precedent
2 : an opinion of the U.S. Tax Court that is ordered not to be published but that is authoritative as precedent
3a : an opinion of a court that sets forth the court's views or intended decision in a case but does not constitute the judgment
b : an opinion of a court or judge setting forth the conclusions and findings and containing or constituting the actual order, judgment, or decree in the case
per curiam opinion
: a usually very brief unanimous opinion attributed to the court as a whole and not to any particular judge
plurality opinion
: an opinion with which a majority of the judges on the court concur in result but not in reasoning
separate opinion
: an opinion written separately by a judge who dissents or who concurs only in the result of the majority opinion
slip opinion
: an opinion published in temporary form soon after the decision is rendered
b : a written explanation for a decision reached by an official (as an arbitrator) presiding over the nonjudicial resolution of a dispute

More from Merriam-Webster on opinion

Nglish: Translation of opinion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of opinion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about opinion


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