View synonyms for question


[ kwes-chuhn ]


  1. a sentence in an interrogative form, addressed to someone in order to get information in reply.

    Synonyms: interrogation, query, inquiry

    Antonyms: answer, reply

  2. a problem for discussion or under discussion; a matter for investigation.
  3. a matter of some uncertainty or difficulty; problem (usually followed by of ):

    It was simply a question of time.

  4. a subject of dispute or controversy.
  5. a proposal to be debated or voted on, as in a meeting or a deliberative assembly.
  6. the procedure of putting a proposal to vote.
  7. Politics. a problem of public policy submitted to the voters for an expression of opinion.
  8. Law.
    1. a controversy that is submitted to a judicial tribunal or administrative agency for decision.
    2. the interrogation by which information is secured.
    3. Obsolete. judicial examination or trial.
  9. the act of asking or inquiring; interrogation; query.
  10. inquiry into or discussion of some problem or doubtful matter.

verb (used with object)

  1. to ask (someone) a question; ask questions of; interrogate.

    Synonyms: examine, query

    Antonyms: reply, answer

  2. to ask or inquire.
  3. to make a question of; doubt:

    He questioned her sincerity.

  4. to challenge or dispute:

    She questioned the judge's authority in the case.

verb (used without object)

  1. to ask a question or questions.


/ ˈkwɛstʃən /


  1. a form of words addressed to a person in order to elicit information or evoke a response; interrogative sentence
  2. a point at issue

    it's only a question of time until she dies

    the question is how long they can keep up the pressure

  3. a difficulty or uncertainty; doubtful point

    there's no question about it

    a question of money

    1. an act of asking
    2. an investigation into some problem or difficulty
  4. a motion presented for debate by a deliberative body
  5. put the question
    to require members of a deliberative assembly to vote on a motion presented
  6. law a matter submitted to a court or other tribunal for judicial or quasi-judicial decision
  7. question of fact
    (in English law) that part of the issue before a court that is decided by the jury
  8. question of law
    (in English law) that part of the issue before a court that is decided by the judge
  9. beg the question
    1. to avoid giving a direct answer by posing another question
    2. to assume the truth of that which is intended to be proved See petitio principii
  10. beyond (all) question
    beyond (any) dispute or doubt
  11. call in or into question
    1. to make (something) the subject of disagreement
    2. to cast doubt upon the validity, truth, etc, of (something)
  12. in question
    under discussion

    this is the man in question

  13. out of the question
    beyond consideration; unthinkable or impossible

    the marriage is out of the question

  14. pop the question informal.
    to propose marriage


  1. to put a question or questions to (a person); interrogate
  2. to make (something) the subject of dispute or disagreement
  3. to express uncertainty about the validity, truth, etc, of (something); doubt

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The question whether should be used rather than the question of whether or the question as to whether: this leaves open the question whether he acted correctly

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Derived Forms

  • ˈquestioner, noun

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Other Words From

  • question·er noun
  • counter·question noun verb
  • outquestion verb (used with object)
  • pre·question verb (used with object)
  • re·question verb (used with object)
  • sub·question noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of question1

First recorded in 1250–1300; (noun) Middle English questio(u)n, questiun, from Anglo-French questiun, Middle French question, from Latin quaestiōn- (stem of quaestiō ), equivalent to quaes-, stem of quaerere “to ask” + -tiōn- -tion; (verb) late Middle English, from Middle French questioner, derivative of the noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of question1

C13: via Old French from Latin quaestiō, from quaerere to seek

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. beyond question, beyond dispute; without doubt: Also beyond all question.

    It was, beyond question, a magnificent performance.

  2. call in / into question,
    1. to dispute; challenge.
    2. to cast doubt upon; question:

      This report calls into question all previous research on the subject.

  3. in question,
    1. under consideration.
    2. in dispute.
  4. out of the question, not to be considered; unthinkable; impossible:

    She thought about a trip to Spain but dismissed it as out of the question.

  5. beg the question. beg 1( def 9 ).

More idioms and phrases containing question

see ask a stupid question ; beg the question ; beside the point (question) ; beyond question ; burning question ; call in question ; in question ; leading question ; loaded question ; open question ; out of the question ; pop the question ; rhetorical question ; without question .

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Synonym Study

See inquire.

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Example Sentences

He also bragged about earning a PhD, a point Smerconish did not question.

She narrowed her eyes, bit her lip as if to chew over the question, and whisked some stray blond hairs away from her face.

Her post-crown fame, though, only further begs the question: Why has there not been another Jewish Miss America since 1945?

We were barely into the appetizer when he asked a fairly basic question—where did my family live?

The woman in question, meanwhile, has business of her own to take care of—she is reported to be shopping a memoir.

There was no doubt thought of his own loss in this question: yet there was, one may hope, a germ of solicitude for the mother too.

In fact, except for Ramona's help, it would have been a question whether even Alessandro could have made Baba work in harness.

It's an idle question, I know; wise men and musty philosophers say that regrets are foolish.

Accordingly, the question "How far does the note issue under the new system seem likely to prove an elastic one?"

The moment was an awkward one, and Cynthia wished madly that she had not been prompted to ask that unfortunate question.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.