doubt [dout] /daʊt/ Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.
Archaic. to fear; be apprehensive about.
verb (used without object)
to be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief.
a feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature of something.
a state of affairs such as to occasion uncertainty.
Obsolete. fear; dread.
beyond the shadow of a doubt,
with certainty; definitely.
Also, beyond a doubt, beyond doubt.
in a state of uncertainty or suspense:
His appointment to the position is still in doubt.
There is no doubt an element of truth in what you say.
without doubt, unquestionably; certainly.
1175–1225; (v.) Middle English douten < Anglo-French, Old French douter < Latin dubitāre to waver, hesitate, be uncertain (frequentative of OL dubāre), equivalent to dub- doubt + -it- frequentative suffix + -āre infinitive suffix; (noun) Middle English doute < Anglo-French, Old French, derivative of the v.
overdoubt, verb (used with object)
predoubt, noun, verb
1, 2. mistrust, suspect, question. 5. indecision, irresolution.
Doubt and doubtful may be followed by a subordinate clause beginning with that, whether, or if: I doubt that (or whether or if) the story is true. It is doubtful that (or whether or if) the story is true. There is some doubt that (or whether or if) the story is true. In negative or interrogative sentences, that almost always introduces the subordinate clause: I do not doubt that the story is true. Is it doubtful that the story is true? Is there any doubt that the story is true?
The expressions doubt but and doubt but that occur in all varieties of standard speech and writing: I don't doubt but she is sincere. There is no doubt but that the charges will affect his career. Doubt but what occurs mainly in informal speech and writing: There is no doubt but what the rainy weather will hurt the crops.