Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sentence, phrase, or gesture that seeks information through a reply.
  • noun A subject or point that is under discussion or open to controversy.
  • noun A matter of concern or difficulty; a problem.
  • noun A proposition brought up for consideration by an assembly.
  • noun The act of bringing a proposal to vote.
  • noun Law An issue in dispute for the resolution of a court.
  • noun Uncertainty; doubt.
  • intransitive verb To ask a question or questions of (someone).
  • intransitive verb To interrogate (a suspect, for example). synonym: ask.
  • intransitive verb To pose a question or questions regarding (something); analyze or examine.
  • intransitive verb To express doubt about; dispute.
  • intransitive verb To ask questions.
  • idiom (in question) Under consideration or discussion.
  • idiom (out of the question) Not worth considering because of being too difficult or impossible.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of interrogation; the putting of inquiries: as, to examine by question and answer.
  • noun That which is asked; an inquiry; a query; the expression of a desire to know something indicated more or less definitely. ;
  • noun Inquiry; disquisition; discussion.
  • noun The subject or matter of examination or investigation; the theme of inquiry; a matter discussed or made the subject of disquisition.
  • noun Dispute or subject of debate; a point of doubt or difficulty.
  • noun Doubt; controversy; dispute: as, the story is true beyond all question.
  • noun Judicial trial or inquiry; trial; examination.
  • noun Examination by torture, or the application of torture to prisoners under criminal accusation in order to extort confession.
  • noun Conversation; speech; talk.
  • noun In logic, a proposition, or that which is to be established as a conclusion, stated by way of interrogation.
  • noun In parliamentary usage: The point under discussion by the house; the measure to be voted on: as, to speak to the question.
  • noun The putting of the matter discussed to a vote: as, are you ready for the question?
  • noun To subject to judicial interrogation.
  • noun 4 and Proposition, motion, topic, point.
  • noun plural The smaller catechism. Also called question-book.
  • To ask a question or questions; inquire or seek to know; examine.
  • To debate; reason; consider.
  • To dispute; doubt.
  • To talk; converse.
  • To inquire of by asking questions; examine by interrogatories: as, to question a witness.
  • To doubt of; be uncertain of; mention or treat as doubtful or not to be trusted.
  • To call in question; challenge; take exception to: as, to question an exercise of prerogative.
  • Synonyms Ask, Inquire of, Interrogate, etc. (see ask), catechize.
  • To controvert, dispute.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of asking; interrogation; inquiry.
  • noun Discussion; debate; hence, objection; dispute; doubt
  • noun Examination with reference to a decisive result; investigation; specifically, a judicial or official investigation; also, examination under torture.
  • noun That which is asked; inquiry; interrogatory; query.
  • noun Hence, a subject of investigation, examination, or debate; theme of inquiry; matter to be inquired into.
  • noun obsolete Talk; conversation; speech; speech.
  • noun in debate; in the course of examination or discussion; as, the matter or point in question.
  • noun See under Leading.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, legal inquiry, from Latin quaestiō, quaestiōn-, from *quaestus, obsolete past participle of quaerere, to ask, seek.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English question, questioun, questiun, from Anglo-Norman questiun, from Old French question, from Latin quaestionem, accusative of quaestio ("a seeking, investigation, inquiry, question"), from quaerere ("to seek, ask, inquire"). Displaced native Middle English frain, fraign ("question") (from Old English fræġn); compare Middle English frainen, freinen ("to inquire, question"), Middle English afrainen, affrainen ("to question").

Examples

  • _They had heard all the arguments calling its existence in question_ which Lord Denman, Lord Cottenham, and Lord Campbell had heard; they were _in the daily and hourly administration of that branch of the law with reference to which the question arose_; they took ample time to consider the matter, and deliberately affirmed the existence of the rule, and the valid grounds on which it rested.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 349, November, 1844

  • When, in pursuing the catechetical exercise, a question is asked from an announcement, there is first a call upon the attention, and an exercise of mind upon the _question_ asked, the words of which must be translated by the pupil into their proper ideas, which accordingly he must both perceive and understand.

    A Practical Enquiry into the Philosophy of Education

  • * The question of duty is often a question*, not of principle, but * of fact*.

    A Manual of Moral Philosophy

  • Uh, "more-or-less asked the question" isn't "asked the question" until you've *** asked the question*** why would someone answer the question you didn't (only almost) asked?

    RealClimate

  • Uh, "more-or-less asked the question" isn't "asked the question" until you've *** asked the question*** why would someone answer the question you didn't (only almost) asked?

    RealClimate

  • Uh, "more-or-less asked the question" isn't "asked the question" until you've *** asked the question*** why would someone answer the question you didn't (only almost) asked?

    RealClimate

  • Uh, "more-or-less asked the question" isn't "asked the question" until you've *** asked the question*** why would someone answer the question you didn't (only almost) asked?

    RealClimate

  • Uh, "more-or-less asked the question" isn't "asked the question" until you've *** asked the question*** why would someone answer the question you didn't (only almost) asked?

    RealClimate

  • Uh, "more-or-less asked the question" isn't "asked the question" until you've *** asked the question*** why would someone answer the question you didn't (only almost) asked?

    RealClimate

  • Uh, "more-or-less asked the question" isn't "asked the question" until you've *** asked the question*** why would someone answer the question you didn't (only almost) asked?

    RealClimate

Comments

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  • might i be terribly bold and co-opt this word to put forth a question to all those illustrious and knowledgeable wordies out there?

    i'd like to know if there is a word to describe a person who loves the smell of books..?

    January 26, 2008

  • bibliosmophiliac?

    osmophilia is a word, meaning 'the love of or fondness for various odors.' So maybe one can just stick the prefix 'biblio' on there.

    The word osmolagnia also exists, and refers to *erotic* excitement derived from odors.

    January 26, 2008

  • wow! wordies truly are the bee's knees! : ) (mind if i use bibliosmophiliac? not into fetishes....................)

    January 26, 2008

  • I enjoy sniffing books, who doesn't?

    January 26, 2008

  • so what's a bibliosmochondriac then?

    January 26, 2008

  • yarb, glad i'm not the only one taking surreptitious whiffs of the new hardbacks at work.. er.. ; )

    January 26, 2008

  • Are there Latin prefixes we can use for any of these? Particularly Quiznos? I need a word for that.

    January 26, 2008

  • Great idea, Julia, to use this page to post questions. Here's one I've been pondering. What word has the most independent derivations? For example:

    bear, the ursine mammal (from OE bera);

    bear, barley (from OE bere);

    bear, to carry (from Sanskrit bhar-).

    January 26, 2008

  • I've got a question too: do we really need ears, or could we get by with just holes in the sides of our head?

    January 26, 2008

  • Yarb, where would we put the sparkly, dangly stuff?

    January 26, 2008