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Webster 1913 Edition


Doubt

Doubt

(dout)
,
Verb.
I.
[
imp. & p. p.
Doubted
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Doubting
.]
[OE.
duten
,
douten
, OF.
duter
,
doter
,
douter
, F.
douter
, fr. L.
dubitare
; akin to
dubius
doubtful. See
Dubious
.]
1.
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.
Even in matters divine, concerning some things, we may lawfully
doubt
, and suspend our judgment.
Hooker.
To try your love and make you
doubt
of mine.
Dryden.
Syn. – To waver; vacillate; fluctuate; hesitate; demur; scruple; question.

Doubt

,
Verb.
T.
1.
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;
as, I have heard the story, but I
doubt
the truth of it
.
To admire superior sense, and
doubt
their own!
Pope.
I
doubt
not that however changed, you keep
So much of what is graceful.
Tennyson.
To doubt not but
.
I do
not doubt but
I have been to blame.
Dryden.

We
doubt not
now
But
every rub is smoothed on our way.
Shakespeare
That is, we have no doubt to prevent us from believing, etc. (or notwithstanding all that may be said to the contrary) – but having a preventive sense, after verbs of “doubting” and “denying” that convey a notion of hindrance.
E. A. Abbott.
2.
To suspect; to fear; to be apprehensive of.
[Obs.]
Edmond [was a] good man and
doubted
God.
R. of Gloucester.
I
doubt
some foul play.
Shakespeare
That I of
doubted
danger had no fear.
Spenser.
3.
To fill with fear; to affright.
[Obs.]
The virtues of the valiant Caratach
More
doubt
me than all Britain.
Beau. & Fl.

Doubt

,
Noun.
[OE.
dute
,
doute
, F.
doute
, fr.
douter
to doubt. See
Doubt
,
Verb.
I.
]
1.
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.
Doubt
is the beginning and the end of our efforts to know.
Sir W. Hamilton.
Doubt
, in order to be operative in requiring an acquittal, is not the want of perfect certainty (which can never exist in any question of fact) but a defect of proof preventing a reasonable assurance of quilt.
Wharton.
2.
Uncertainty of condition.
Thy life shall hang in
doubt
before thee.
Deut. xxviii. 66.
3.
Suspicion; fear; apprehension; dread.
[Obs.]
I stand in
doubt
of you.
Gal. iv. 20.
Nor slack her threatful hand for danger’s
doubt
.
Spenser.
4.
Difficulty expressed or urged for solution; point unsettled; objection.
To every
doubt
your answer is the same.
Blackmore.
Syn. – Uncertainty; hesitation; suspense; indecision; irresolution; distrust; suspicion; scruple; perplexity; ambiguity; skepticism.

Webster 1828 Edition


Doubt

DOUBT

,
Verb.
I.
dout. [L., G.]
1.
To waver or fluctuate in opinion; to hesitate; to be in suspense; to be in uncertainty; to be in suspense; to be in uncertainty, respecting the truth or fact; to be undetermined.
Even in matters divine, concerning some things, we may lawfully doubt and suspend our judgment.
So we say, I doubt whether it is proper; I doubt whether I shall go; sometimes with of, as we doubt of a fact.
2.
To fear; to be apprehensive; to suspect.
I doubt theres deep resentment in his mind.

DOUBT

,
Verb.
T.
dout.
1.
To question, or hold questionable; to withhold assent from; to hesitate to believe; as, I have heard the story, but I doubt the truth of it.
2.
To fear; to suspect.
If they turn not back perverse; but that I doubt.
3.
To distrust; to withhold confidence from; as, to doubt our ability to execute an office.
Tadmire superior sense, and doubt their own.
4.
To fill with fear.

DOUBT

,
Noun.
Dout.
1.
A fluctuation of mind respecting truth or propriety, arising from defect of knowledge or evidence; uncertainty of mind; suspense; unsettled state of opinion; as, to have doubts respecting the theory of the tides.
Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. Genesis 37.
2.
Uncertainty of condition.
Thy life shall hang in doubt before thee. Deuteronomy 28.
3.
Suspicion; fear; apprehension.
I stand in doubt of you. Galatians 4.
4.
Difficulty objected.
To every doubt your answer is the same.
5.
Dread; horror and danger.

Definition 2023


doubt

doubt

English

Alternative forms

Noun

doubt (countable and uncountable, plural doubts)

  1. Uncertainty, disbelief.
    There was some doubt as to who the child's real father was.
    • 1906, Stanley J[ohn] Weyman, chapter I, in Chippinge Borough, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co., OCLC 580270828:
      It was April 22, 1831, and a young man was walking down Whitehall in the direction of Parliament Street. []. He halted opposite the Privy Gardens, and, with his face turned skywards, listened until the sound of the Tower guns smote again on the ear and dispelled his doubts.

Related terms

Translations

Verb

doubt (third-person singular simple present doubts, present participle doubting, simple past and past participle doubted)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To lack confidence in; to disbelieve, question, or suspect.
    He doubted that was really what you meant.
    • Hooker
      Even in matters divine, concerning some things, we may lawfully doubt []
    • Dryden
      To try your love and make you doubt of mine.
  2. (archaic) To fear; to suspect.
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, I.186:
      He fled, like Joseph, leaving it; but there, / I doubt, all likeness ends between the pair.
  3. (obsolete) To fear; to be apprehensive of.
    • R. of Gloucester
      Edmond [was a] good man and doubted God.
    • Shakespeare
      I doubt some foul play.
    • Spenser
      I of doubted danger had no fear.
  4. (obsolete) To fill with fear; to affright.
    • 1861, George Eliot, Chapter 21”, in Silas Marner:
      It's dark to me, Mrs Winthrop, that is; I doubt it'll be dark to the last.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      The virtues of the valiant Caratach / More doubt me than all Britain.

Translations

Related terms

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: hard · ask · question · #410: doubt · around · black · lady