- to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.
- to distrust.
- Archaic. to fear; be apprehensive about.
- 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 doubt, in a state of uncertainty or suspense: His appointment to the position is still in doubt.
- no doubt,
- certainly: There is no doubt an element of truth in what you say.
- without doubt, unquestionably; certainly.
Origin of doubt
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
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.
Examples from the Web for doubt
And, in the case of fluoride, at least, that doubt might actually be justified.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
He no doubt had heard by then that some of the cops had ignored his request and turned their backs.Funeral Protest Is Too Much for NYPD Union Boss
January 5, 2015
Their confrontation at dinner was, without a doubt, the highlight of the episode.‘Downton Abbey’ Review: A Fire, Some Sex, and Sad, Sad Edith
January 5, 2015
These men and women will no doubt cause a tug a war in time.Up To Speed: The Cuba Embargo
December 18, 2014
His decision to stick to his convictions on Thursday is no doubt positive news for them.Presidential Hopeful Rand Paul Backs Obama on Cuba Deal
December 18, 2014
The man who has just saved his life can no doubt obtain any favour.
Of this, there is an impression on my mind too strong to admit of doubt.
I doubt me whether the poor old hound will brook the journey.
And the only one she never forgets is, 'When in doubt, lead your highest check.'The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
No doubt it was true, for she would have insisted on moderate cleanliness and comfort.
- uncertainty about the truth, fact, or existence of something (esp in the phrases in doubt, without doubt, beyond a shadow of doubt, etc)
- (often plural) lack of belief in or conviction about somethingall his doubts about the project disappeared
- an unresolved difficulty, point, etc
- philosophy the methodical device, esp in the philosophy of Descartes, of identifying certain knowledge as the residue after rejecting any proposition which might, however improbably, be false
- obsolete fear
- give someone the benefit of the doubt to presume someone suspected of guilt to be innocent; judge leniently
- no doubt almost certainly
- (tr; may take a clause as object) to be inclined to disbelieveI doubt we are late
- (tr) to distrust or be suspicious ofhe doubted their motives
- (intr) to feel uncertainty or be undecided
- (tr; may take a clause as object) Scot to be inclined to believe
- (tr) archaic to fear
- I wouldn't doubt someone Irish I would expect nothing else from someone
Word Origin and History for doubt
early 13c., "to dread, fear," from Old French doter "doubt, be doubtful; be afraid," from Latin dubitare "to doubt, question, hesitate, waver in opinion" (related to dubius "uncertain;" see dubious), originally "to have to choose between two things."
The sense of "fear" developed in Old French and was passed on to English. Meaning "to be uncertain" is attested in English from c.1300. The -b- was restored 14c. by scribes in imitation of Latin. Replaced Old English tweogan (noun twynung), from tweon "two," on notion of "of two minds" or the choice of two implied in Latin dubitare (cf. German Zweifel "doubt," from zwei "two").
early 13c., from Old French dote (11c.) "fear, dread; doubt," from doter (see doubt (v.)).