Definition of doubt in English:

doubt

Line breaks: doubt
Pronunciation: /daʊt
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
A feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction: some doubt has been cast upon the authenticity of this account [count noun]: they had doubts that they would ever win
More example sentences
  • Each relationship, until now, had doubt, anxiety, uncertainty, as their qualities.
  • He said he would question the validity of parts of that opinion and would bring fresh evidence which cast doubt on the conviction.
  • I expressed enthusiasm, and he, as usual, expressed some doubt and uncertainty.
Synonyms

verb

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1 [with object] Feel uncertain about: I doubt my ability to do the job [with clause]: I doubt if anyone slept that night
More example sentences
  • I have never doubted her ability to make a positive contribution to this community.
  • She said she doubted its ability to run the service, and asked the Executive to start negotiations with other operators.
  • It was hoped that the weight of celestial opinion would undermine his authority and cause him to doubt his own decision-making ability.
1.1Question the truth or fact of (something): who can doubt the value and necessity of these services?
More example sentences
  • The awful truth is that I doubt the relaxation of the licensing laws will make much difference; in fact, if they slow down these binges, the new hours might even help.
  • It is your right to doubt the validity and truth of this site.
  • In fact, he doubted her creditability, until she pulled out a map she had bought from one of the merchants in Sernual.
Synonyms
think something unlikely, have (one's) doubts about, question, query, be dubious, lack conviction, have reservations about
1.2Disbelieve or lack faith in (someone): I have no reason to doubt him
More example sentences
  • So, when he says that he is resigning for personal reasons, I see no reason to doubt him.
  • With a £750m share buyback and 7% dividend hike to underpin his faith in the strategy, they will have few reasons for doubting him.
  • I have no reason to doubt him in the general sense.
Synonyms
disbelieve, distrust, mistrust, suspect, lack confidence in, have doubts about, be suspicious of, have suspicions about, have misgivings about, feel uneasy about, feel apprehensive about, call into question, cast doubt on, query, question, challenge, dispute, have reservations about
archaic misdoubt
1.3 [no object] Feel uncertain, especially about one’s religious beliefs.
More example sentences
  • I became angry with myself for my blind belief in the Bus, and my reluctance to doubt before that minute.
  • But I have seen friends who once believed without doubting, and without testing those beliefs, slowly become more rational.
  • In order to doubt or wonder about the provenance of his beliefs an agent must know what belief is.
Synonyms
be undecided, have doubts, be irresolute, be hesitant, be tentative, be ambivalent, be divided, be doubtful, be unsure, be uncertain, be in two minds, hesitate, shilly-shally, waver, falter, vacillate, dither, demur
2 [with clause] archaic Fear; be afraid: I doubt not any ones contradicting this Journal
More example sentences
  • Doubt not, my lord, they shall be well opposed.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French doute (noun), douter (verb), from Latin dubitare 'hesitate', from dubius 'doubtful' (see dubious).

Phrases

beyond doubt

Allowing no uncertainty: you’ve proved it beyond doubt
More example sentences
  • That Britain is a multi ethnic and multi faith country is clearly beyond doubt and is reflected in the Census statistics.
  • Which is, of course, the point at which you know beyond doubt you've bought something seriously great.
  • We don't know which species, but the evidence shows beyond doubt that it is not species specific.

in doubt

Open to question: the outcome is no longer in doubt
More example sentences
  • Now the fairness of the pools questionnaire is in doubt before it has left the printers.
  • An American would ask: if you were going to leave in doubt the question of who's better, why did you play the game?
  • Throughout her career, her commitment was never in doubt and her courage beyond question.
Synonyms
doubtful, uncertain, open to question, unsure, unconfirmed, unknown, unsettled, undecided, moot, unresolved, debatable, open to debate, in the balance, pending, in limbo, in no man's land, up in the air, confused, problematic, ambiguous
informal iffy
Feeling uncertain about something: by the age of 14 he was in no doubt about his career aims
More example sentences
  • She said anyone in doubt should consult a GP who had the charts showing height and weight and what are the healthy limits.
  • Anyone in doubt about the sensitivity of land matters needs only to look across our southern border.
  • The events of the past are not in doubt; but the events of the future we can only guess.
Synonyms

no doubt

Used to indicate the speaker’s firm belief that something is true: those who left were attracted, no doubt, by higher pay
More example sentences
  • The margin of error that must be accepted for these rough guesses is no doubt a substantial one.
  • If the company had any claim to the plant, the position would no doubt be very different.
  • Every piece of it in the hands of certain journalists could, no doubt, lead the news.
Used to introduce a concession which is subsequently dismissed as unimportant or irrelevant: they no doubt did what they could to help her, but their best proved insufficient
More example sentences
  • Many will no doubt disagree with me but imagine yourself in the following position.
  • He will no doubt gain composure with more experience but he allowed him to smother his shot.
  • She was guilty, no doubt, but as this immensely moving film makes clear, she was also heartbreakingly human.

without (a) doubt

Indisputably: he was without doubt the very worst kind of reporter
More example sentences
  • His appointment was without doubt a defining moment in the history of the Daily Telegraph.
  • But without doubt a certain amount of grazing is important for breeding waders.
  • He is the best clay court player in the world, without a doubt, but it is the doubts that may scupper him.

Derivatives

doubtable

adjective
More example sentences
  • The existence of a cover-up is not doubted by anyone in particular, you understand, it's just ontologically a doubtable concept.
  • Layers of confusion build and opinions that once were entirely convincing become doubtable and strange.
  • Jethro Tull fans are some of the most virulent, trivia-obsessed blowhards this side of a Magic convention, and their argumentative nature and fierce defense of Jethro Tull's doubtable importance are nearly comical.

doubting

adjective
More example sentences
  • Their eyes were full of doubting suspicion, but I knew better than to say aloud what I was really thinking.
  • But where are the doubting voices, the posers of awkward questions that might expose this ludicrous charade for the expedient nonsense it is?
  • That is why it is imperative for the health authorities to persuade doubting parents to have their children vaccinated, to bring take-up levels to the safe 95 per cent level.

doubtingly

adverb
More example sentences
  • One of the experimenters in this project spoke doubtingly of the effectiveness of such efforts, saying: ‘Sometimes even with well developed and effective methods, luck runs against you.’
  • His eyes slide half-shut and he doubtingly answers, ‘No.’
  • She looked doubtingly at herself in the mirror.

Definition of doubt in:

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