American English

Definition of doubt noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



[uncountable, countable]
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  •  a feeling of being uncertain about something or not believing something a feeling of doubt and uncertainty doubt (about something) There is some doubt about the best way to do it. The article raised doubts about how effective the new drug really was. doubt (that…) There is no doubt at all that we did the right thing. doubt (as to something) If you are in any doubt as to whether you should be doing these exercises, consult your doctor. New evidence has cast doubt on the guilt of the man jailed for the crime. She knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was lying to her. Whether he will continue to be successful in the future is open to doubt. Language Bankimpersonalgiving opinions using impersonal language It is vital that more is done to prevent the illegal trade in wild animals. (Compare: We have to do more to stop people trading wild animals illegally. ) It is clear that more needs to be done to protect biodiversity. (Compare: We clearly need to do more to protect biodiversity. ) It is unfortunate that the practice of keeping monkeys as pets still continues. (Compare: It's absolutely terrible that people still keep monkeys as pets. ) It is difficult for many people to understand the reasons why certain individuals choose to hunt animals for sport. (Compare: I can't understand why anyone would want to kill animals for fun. ) Unfortunately, it would seem that not enough is being done to support tiger conservation. (Compare: Governments aren't doing enough to help tiger conservation. ) There is no doubt that the greatest threat to polar bears comes from global warming. (Compare: I believe that the greatest threat… )
  • Idioms
    be in doubt
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    to be uncertain The success of the system is not in doubt.
    beyond (any) doubt
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    in a way that shows that something is completely certain The research showed beyond doubt that smoking contributes to heart disease. (law) The prosecution was able to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman had been lying.
    give somebody the benefit of the doubt
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    to accept that someone has told the truth or has not done something wrong because you cannot prove that they have not She may have been lying, but I felt I had to give her the benefit of the doubt.
    have your doubts (about something)
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    to have reasons why you are not certain about whether something is good or whether something good will happen I've had my doubts about his work since he joined our department. It may be all right. Personally, I have my doubts.
    if in doubt
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    used to give advice to someone who cannot decide what to do If in doubt, wear black.
    1. 1used when you are saying that something is likely No doubt she'll call us when she gets there.
    2. 2used when you are saying that something is certainly true He's made some great movies. There's no doubt about it.
    without/beyond doubt
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    used when you are giving your opinion and emphasizing the point that you are making This meeting has been, without doubt, one of the most useful we have had so far.
    See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: doubt