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[kweer-ee] /ˈkwɪər i/
noun, plural queries.
a question; an inquiry.
mental reservation; doubt.
Printing. a question mark (?), especially as added on a manuscript, proof sheet, or the like, indicating doubt as to some point in the text.
an inquiry from a writer to an editor of a magazine, newspaper, etc., regarding the acceptability of or interest in an idea for an article, news story, or the like: usually presented in the form of a letter that outlines or describes the projected piece.
verb (used with object), queried, querying.
to ask or inquire about:
No one queried his presence.
to question as doubtful or obscure:
to query a statement.
Printing. to mark (a manuscript, proof sheet, etc.) with a query.
to ask questions of.
Origin of query
1625-35; alteration (cf. -y3) of earlier quere < Latin quaere quaere
Related forms
queryingly, adverb
outquery, verb (used with object), outqueried, outquerying.
unqueried, adjective
Can be confused
inquiry, query.
quarry, query. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for querying
Historical Examples
  • Curious eyes now turned toward the seeming mound on the summit, querying whether it might not be the remains of an antique pueblo.

    Overland John William De Forest
  • Jack was querying, as he and old Fairfax sipped their five-o'clock "Manhattan."

    The Golden House Charles Dudley Warner
  • I was querying the same; still we must not neglect to state that the speaker was dealing in facts.

  • Clara, too; she was querying how much she should tell Thurstane; all of a sudden she was dreaming.

    Overland John William De Forest
  • He looked at her on a level, spiritually, querying as to who she might be.

    The Precipice Elia Wilkinson Peattie
  • Miss Munch was querying as Claire stepped into the dressing-room.

    The Blood Red Dawn Charles Caldwell Dobie
  • What else could be shown, I rebuked my nerves by querying of them; and turned the key.

    The Thing from the Lake Eleanor M. Ingram
  • Wiping the sweat of labor and anxiety from their brows, they looked about them, at first in silence, querying what next?

    Overland John William De Forest
  • Jake threw a querying stress on the word sisters, but it was against all nature to be offended at him.

    Neighbours Robert Stead
  • Mr. Cortwright leaned back in his chair and the sandy-gray eyes seemed to be searching the inner recesses of the querying soul.

British Dictionary definitions for querying


noun (pl) -ries
a question, esp one expressing doubt, uncertainty, or an objection
a less common name for question mark
verb (transitive) -ries, -rying, -ried
to express uncertainty, doubt, or an objection concerning (something)
to express as a query: "What's up now?" she queried
(US) to put a question to (a person); ask
Word Origin
C17: from earlier quere, from Latin quaere ask!, from quaerere to seek, inquire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for querying



1530s, quaere "a question," from Latin quaere "ask," imperative of quaerere "to seek, look for; strive, endeavor, strive to gain; ask, require, demand;" figuratively "seek mentally, seek to learn, make inquiry," probably ultimately from PIE *kwo-, root forming the stem of relative and interrogative pronouns (see who). Spelling Englished or altered c.1600 by influence of inquiry.


"to question," 1650s, from query (n.). Related: Queried; querying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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