[ dout ]
/ daʊt /
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See synonyms for: doubt / doubted / doubting / doubts on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
to be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief: The priest told me that it was normal to doubt, but encouraged me to nurture my faith.
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Idioms about doubt

Origin of doubt

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English verb douten, duten, doubten, from Old French douter, doter “to doubt, be doubtful,” from Latin dubitāre “to waver, hesitate, be uncertain” (frequentative of Old Latin dubāre ), equivalent to dub- “doubt” + -it- frequentative suffix + -āre infinitive suffix; noun derivative of the verb. The -b- first appears between 1420–30 in imitation of Latin dubit-

usage note for doubt

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.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use doubt in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for doubt

/ (daʊt) /


Derived forms of doubt

doubtable, adjectivedoubtably, adverbdoubter, noundoubtingly, adverb

Word Origin for doubt

C13: from Old French douter, from Latin dubitāre

usage for doubt

Where a clause follows doubt in a positive sentence, it was formerly considered correct to use whether (I doubt whether he will come ), but now if and that are also acceptable. In negative statements, doubt is followed by that: I do not doubt that he is telling the truth. In such sentences, but (I do not doubt but that he is telling the truth) is redundant
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with doubt


see beyond a doubt; cast doubt on; give the benefit of the doubt; no doubt; shadow of a doubt.

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