Definition of doubt noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//daʊt//
; NAmE NAmE//daʊt//
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  •  [uncountable, countable] 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 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…) More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet.
  • Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French doute (noun), douter (verb), from Latin dubitare ‘hesitate’, from dubius ‘doubtful’.Extra examples Doubts have arisen over the viability of the schedule. From the start, doubts surrounded her claim to be the missing heiress. He made clear his own private doubts about it. Her record of dismissals casts doubt on her ability to hold down a job. His failure to appear raises serious doubts as to his reliability. If in doubt, consult your doctor. It is almost impossible to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. She is without a doubt the best player I know. She leaves no doubt as to her view of Picasso’s work. She still felt the same niggling doubt: was he really telling the truth? Some committee members still had doubts about the plans. The announcement dispelled any doubts as to the prince’s intentions. The arrangements for the event still seemed to be in doubt. The evidence proves beyond doubt that he is innocent. The proposed development has been thrown into doubt by the decision. Their honesty is open to doubt. There is little doubt the documents are fake. There is no doubt in my mind that this man is Tom. They say they’ll be here on time, but I have my doubts about that. This proves without a shadow of doubt that we were right. We have established beyond all reasonable doubt that the painting was indeed by Rembrandt. Without the slightest doubt this is a remarkable exhibition. He’s made some great movies. There’s no doubt about it. I had been aware of a nagging doubt growing in my mind. Some managers have expressed doubts about the wisdom of such a move. There is no doubt at all that we did the right thing. There is some doubt about the best way to do it. We live in an age of doubt and uncertainty. Whether he will continue to be successful in future is open to doubt.Idioms  to be uncertain The success of the system is not in doubt. 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 reasonable doubt that the woman had been lying.
    give somebody the benefit of the doubt
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    to accept that somebody has told the truth or has not done something wrong because you cannot prove that they have not told the truth/have done something wrong 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 the firm. It may be all right. Personally, I have my doubts.
    used to give advice to somebody who cannot decide what to do If in doubt, wear black.
    1. 1  used when you are saying that something is probable No doubt she'll call us when she gets there.
    2. 2  used when you are saying that something is certainly true He's made some great movies. There's no doubt about it.
     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 American Dictionary entry: doubt