Denotation vs. Connotation


[dout-lis] /ˈdaʊt lɪs/
adverb, Also, doubtlessly
without doubt; certainly; surely; unquestionably.
probably or presumably.
free from doubt or uncertainty; certain, sure.
Origin of doubtless
1300-50; Middle English douteles. See doubt, -less
Related forms
doubtlessness, noun
1, 2. Doubtless, undoubtedly, indubitably, unquestionably are adverbs that express certainty. Doubtless, although it sometimes denotes an absolute degree of certainty, more often means “probably,” “presumably,” or “no doubt”: She will doubtless accept the offer. Undoubtedly means “beyond doubt”: undoubtedly the most prolific and popular composer of his time. Indubitably and unquestionably both affirm an unassailable conviction; they differ only in tone, indubitably being appropriate to more formal or learned discourse and unquestionably appropriate in a wider range of contexts and styles: an indubitably (or unquestionably) accurate transliteration of the hieroglyphic text; unquestionably the hottest running back in the league. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for doubtless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They are quite peaceful, and will doubtless in time advance in civilisation.

  • The husband in my case was to be an inconvenience, but doubtless an amusing one.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • doubtless we shall find more soon, and what was inside them.

    Return of the Native Thomas Hardy
  • We could not find any of his camps, however; doubtless the sand has long since covered them.

  • They know, doubtless, all that they ought to know, but then they know so much more than they ought to know.

British Dictionary definitions for doubtless


adverb (sentence substitute or sentence modifier)
certain; assured
Derived Forms
doubtlessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for doubtless

mid-14c. (adv.), mid-15c. (adj.), from doubt (n.) + -less. Related: Doubtlessly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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