ques·​tion | \ ˈkwes-chən How to pronounce question (audio) , ˈkwesh- \

Essential Meaning of question

1 : a sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information or is used to test someone's knowledge Can I ask you a personal question? Please answer my question. See More ExamplesI don't understand the question. Are there any more questions? I have a couple of legal questions (for you). In answer to your question, our next meeting will be on Friday. The essay questions on the test were easy/hard. There are 10 multiple-choice questions on the exam. The exam included several questions on/about 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. I am sure to get a raise. The question is [=what I want to know is], how much it will be? The key question in solving the mystery is, how did the murderer enter the house? One question still remains: Do we have the funding for this project? (formal) She posed the question of [=she asked] whether we could get funding for the project. Stop avoiding the question and answer me! She hoped to avoid awkward/embarrassing questions about her personal life during the interview. Whether voters will support him remains an open question. [=no one knows yet whether voters will support him] There are still many unanswered questions about his past. It was a rhetorical question. I didn't expect an answer. "How can we reduce expenses without cutting important programs?" "(That's a) good question." [=I don't know] The big question [=the thing everyone would like to know] is, will he be number one in the football draft? There will be a question and answer session [=a period of time when people can have their questions answered] following the speech. (formal) The lawyer would like to put another question to the defendant. [=ask the defendant another question]Hide
2 : a matter or problem that is being discussed : a subject or topic Her paper raises several questions [=issues] that need to be discussed/addressed. It is still an open question whether or not you may go.
3 : doubt or uncertainty about something There was little question of her being able to do the work. There is considerable question about the actual value of the property.

Full 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

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 night in question, Vedder recalls, was Nov. 21, 1989. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 18 Nov. 2021 The report in question stems from a traffic stop in which the driver being stopped attempted to evade Lucas and his partner, and eventually collided with another police vehicle. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Nov. 2021 Because Penelope was shot on the couple's own property in Vermont, the Dopesick actor has seen more of the woody perennial in question since then — and things have gotten a little awkward. Christian Holub,, 17 Nov. 2021 As an officer was arriving, the patron in question was leaving in a vehicle and driving recklessly, said Tuscaloosa police spokeswoman Stephanie Taylor, and police tried to make a traffic stop. Carol Robinson |, al, 17 Nov. 2021 The block in question, between Chapel and Elm Streets, runs through the heart of Yale’s downtown campus and is heavily trafficked by students. Seamus Mcavoy,, 17 Nov. 2021 Biblical skeptics point out that there are no significant structures corresponding to the time in question. Matti Friedman, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Nov. 2021 Reached last week by phone and email, the company owner, Ryan Bellanca, said his crew had not ignited a backfire on the day in question and had actually saved many homes and businesses. Matthias Gafni, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Nov. 2021 The seats in question will become vacant just as the 2022 legislative session begins, with prominent community leaders coming forward for each of the three openings. Anthony Man,, 17 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This sequence three minutes before half tells why people question play-calling. Dave Hyde,, 12 Nov. 2021 However, Moderna shares have struggled in recent months as critics increasingly question whether or not sales of Covid-19 vaccines will prove a viable revenue stream in years to come. Jonathan Ponciano, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 But first, negotiators need to agree on a few highly technical, politically sensitive details left unresolved since 2015—even as independent researchers question the credibility of carbon credits themselves. Amanda Shendruk, Quartz, 2 Nov. 2021 Persson says people should also question how much data children should give away when signing up for online services or buying apps and games. Matt Burgess, Wired, 26 Oct. 2021 Markets have been bouncing as investors question the economy’s path forward, amid rising inflation and the ongoing impact from the virus pandemic. Yuri Kageyama, ajc, 7 Oct. 2021 The #FreeBritney campaign has gained momentum on social media in recent years as fans question whether she was being taken advantage of through what was supposed to have been a temporary arrangement. NBC News, 29 Sep. 2021 At the time, Shinohara, a physician in Seattle, worried that people might question whether her mom and dad had been sufficiently cautious. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Sep. 2021 But Sherrif Karamat, the president and CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association, is not so sure, particularly as more convention attendees question the environmental impact of travel. Dee-ann Durbin, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2021

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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Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Question.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for question


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on question

Nglish: Translation of question for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of question for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about question


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