American English

Definition of question noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information to ask/answer a question The question is, how much are they going to pay you? (formal) The question arises as to whether or not he knew of the situation. The key question of what caused the leak remains unanswered. (formal) He put a question to the Vice President about the recent reforms. I hope the police don't ask any tough questions. The government doesn't have the answers to these difficult questions. In an interview, try to ask open questions that don't just need “Yes” or “No” as an answer.
  2. 2[countable] a task or request for information that is intended to test your knowledge or understanding, for example in an exam or a competition Question 3 was very difficult. On the exam there's sure to be a question on energy.
  3. 3[countable] question (of something) a matter or topic that needs to be discussed or dealt with Let's look at the question of security. The question which needs to be addressed is one of funding. Which route is better remains an open question (= it is not decided).
  4. 4[uncountable] doubt or confusion about something Her honesty is beyond question. His suitability for the job is open to question. Her version of events was accepted without question.
  5. Idioms
      beg the question
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    1. 1to make someone want to ask a question that has not yet been answered All of which begs the question as to who will fund the project.
    2. 2to talk about something as if it were definitely true, even though it might not be These assumptions beg the question that children learn languages more easily than adults.
    bring/throw something into question
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    to cause something to become a matter for doubt and discussion This case brings into question the whole purpose of the law.
    call something into question
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    to doubt something or make others doubt something synonym ques‧tion His honesty has never been called into question.
    come into question
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    to become a matter for doubt and discussion
    good question! (informal)
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    used to show that you do not know the answer to a question “How much is all this going to cost?” “Good question!”
      in question
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    1. 1that is being discussed On the day in question we were in Miami.
    2. 2in doubt; uncertain The future of public transport is not in question.
    just/merely/only a question of (something/doing something)
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     used to say that something is not difficult to predict, explain, do, etc. It's merely a question of time before the business collapses. It's just a question of deciding what you really want.
    a moot point/question
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    a matter about which there may be disagreement or confusion Whether this should be enforced by law or not is a moot point.
    out of the question
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    impossible or not allowed, and therefore not worth discussing Another trip abroad this year is out of the question.
    pop the question (informal)
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    to ask someone to marry you
    there is/was no question of (something happening/somebody doing something)
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     there is/was no possibility of something There was no question of his/him canceling the trip so near the departure date.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: question