question mark


noun

Also called interrogation point, interrogation mark. a mark indicating a question: usually, as in English, the mark (?) placed after a question.
something unanswered or unknown: His identity is still a question mark to most of us.
an anglewing butterfly, Polygonia interrogationis, having silver spots shaped like a question mark on the underside of each hind wing.

Origin of question mark

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for question mark

  • We always went to church in the morning, and people were very kind, but it was kindness with a question-mark.

    The Gay Cockade|Temple Bailey
  • Aren't you afraid that when you die you'll change into a question-mark?

    Little Miss Grouch|Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • If Yorkburg had a coat of arms it ought to be a question-mark.

    Mary Cary|Kate Langley Bosher
  • It has in it that element which he has described by a question-mark in his diagram, the element of forecast.

British Dictionary definitions for question mark

question mark

noun

the punctuation mark ?, used at the end of questions and in other contexts where doubt or ignorance is implied
this mark used for any other purpose, as to draw attention to a possible mistake, as in a chess commentary
an element of doubt or uncertainty

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

Culture definitions for question mark

question mark

A punctuation mark (?) that follows a direct question: “Is Ralph really seven feet tall?”


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.