Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To be undecided or skeptical about: began to doubt some accepted doctrines.
  • transitive v. To tend to disbelieve; distrust: doubts politicians when they make sweeping statements.
  • transitive v. To regard as unlikely: I doubt that we'll arrive on time.
  • transitive v. Archaic To suspect; fear.
  • intransitive v. To be undecided or skeptical.
  • n. A lack of certainty that often leads to irresolution. See Synonyms at uncertainty.
  • n. A lack of trust.
  • n. A point about which one is uncertain or skeptical: reassured me by answering my doubts.
  • n. The condition of being unsettled or unresolved: an outcome still in doubt.
  • idiom beyond Without question; certainly; definitely.
  • idiom no doubt Certainly.
  • idiom no doubt Probably.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Uncertainty, disbelief.
  • v. To lack confidence in; to disbelieve, question, or suspect.
  • v. To fear; to suspect.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fluctuation of mind arising from defect of knowledge or evidence; uncertainty of judgment or mind; unsettled state of opinion concerning the reality of an event, or the truth of an assertion, etc.; hesitation.
  • n. Uncertainty of condition.
  • n. Suspicion; fear; apprehension; dread.
  • n. Difficulty expressed or urged for solution; point unsettled; objection.
  • intransitive v. To waver in opinion or judgment; to be in uncertainty as to belief respecting anything; to hesitate in belief; to be undecided as to the truth of the negative or the affirmative proposition; to b e undetermined.
  • intransitive v. To suspect; to fear; to be apprehensive.
  • transitive v. To question or hold questionable; to withhold assent to; to hesitate to believe, or to be inclined not to believe; to withhold confidence from; to distrust.
  • transitive v. To suspect; to fear; to be apprehensive of.
  • transitive v. To fill with fear; to affright.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To be uncertain as to a truth or fact; be undetermined or undecided; waver or fluctuate in opinion; hesitate.
  • To be in fear; be afraid.
  • To be uncertain as to the truth or fact of; hold in question; question; hesitate to believe: as, to doubt the truth of a story.
  • To be expectant or apprehensive of; believe hesitatingly or indefinitely.
  • To distrust; be uncertain with regard to; be distrustful of: as, to doubt one's ability to execute a task.
  • To fear; be afraid of.
  • To cause to fear; put in fear; appal; daunt.
  • n. Uncertainty with regard to the truth of a given proposition or assertion; suspense of judgment arising from defect of evidence or of inclination; an unsettled state of opinion; indecision of belief.
  • n. A matter of uncertainty; an undecided case or proposition; a ground of hesitation.
  • n. A difficulty suggested or proposed for solution; an objection.
  • n. Difficulty; danger.
  • n. Hesitating apprehension; fear; dread.
  • n. Synonyms Indecision, irresolution, suspense, hesitation, hesitancy, misgiving, distrust, mistrust.
  • n. A redoubt.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. lack confidence in or have doubts about
  • v. consider unlikely or have doubts about
  • n. the state of being unsure of something
  • n. uncertainty about the truth or factuality or existence of something

Etymologies

Middle English douten, from Old French douter, from Latin dubitāre, to waver; see dwo- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English douten, from Anglo-Norman douter, from Old French douter, from Latin dubitare. Replaced Middle English tweonien ("to doubt") (from Old English twēonian, compare Old English twēo ("doubt, duplicity")). The modern spelling is probably under the influence of Middle French doubter. (Wiktionary)
Middle English doute, from Anglo-Norman and Old French doute, from Latin dubita. The modern spelling is probably under the influence of Middle French doubte. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Carolos Duran has already seen my sketch for one, and he says there is not a doubt -- _not a doubt_ -- that it will be considered.

    A Daughter of To-Day

  • Doubt strikes at the root of Justice and of Love -- not the doubt that is the half-brother to Disbelief, but the doubt which wonders always and always if we believe most easily what we _want to believe_, and if our firmest conviction against such Belief is not, more than anything else, yet one more manifestation of what we desire so earnestly _to doubt_.

    Over the Fireside with Silent Friends

  • _point device_ companions, such rackers of orthography, as to speak doubt _fine_ when _he should say doubt_, etc.

    The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded

  • There's no doubt, sir; there's _no doubt_ that it was the spirit of Mr. Frederick Massingbird. "

    Verner's Pride

  • "No doubt -- Ay, do you hear that _no doubt_, Colambre?

    Tales and Novels — Volume 06

  • III. i.151 (367,7) That love the fundamental part of state/More than you doubt the change of't] To _doubt_ is to _fear_.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • The reason I go to riesling when I'm in doubt is the racy acidity that good ones feature -- and this one has it in spades.

    Wine Blogging Wednesday #53: McGregor Vineyard 2007 Dry Riesling

  • It further emphasizes the papal benediction of the same, which, while not in doubt, is relevant again for the reason of these factors.

    Some Considerations of the Lateran Mass of Cardinal Cañizares

  • What's not in doubt is that Luke never lets it cross his mind that he's now the Chosen One.

    Lance Mannion:

  • What's not in doubt is that it's a huge democratic moment: more people than ever before are being able to share their ideas and feelings with a global audience, and to engage in a vivid contemporary dialogue about the meaning of culture, in books, film, music, theatre and art.

    McCrum's Crumbs

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Comments

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  • doubt comes into my mind when I feel so weak.

    January 22, 2013

  • I've heard of some cargo cult etymology that connects them. The Latin dubit- is actually a frequentative of a contracted form of du-hib-, i.e. (allowing for Old Latin weak vowel changes) du- "two" + hab- "have", thus "have two things in mind". Or at least that is vastly more likely.

    August 28, 2009

  • Dubh means black, right? So... Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.

    That's my story, anyhow. :)

    August 28, 2009

  • I don't think I'd believe it.

    August 28, 2009

  • Kudos and a laurel wreath to the Wordie who can tell us just how Irish Gaelic dubh might relate to this word. Care to chime in qroqqa or sionnach?

    August 28, 2009

  • No doubt about it!

    August 28, 2009

  • Are you sure, 'vi?

    August 28, 2009

  • I think there are very few words that I like the SOUND of as much as this one.

    August 28, 2009

  • '"You should never, ever doubt what nobody is sure of."' -Willy Wonka in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

    February 18, 2008