doubt meaning, doubt definition | English Cobuild dictionary

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  ( doubts    plural & 3rd person present)   ( doubting    present participle)   ( doubted    past tense & past participle  )
1       n-var   If you have doubt or doubts about something, you feel uncertain about it and do not know whether it is true or possible. If you say you have nodoubtabout it, you mean that you are certain it is true.  
oft N about/as to n, N that   (=uncertainty)  
This raises doubts about the point of advertising..., I had my doubts when she started, but she's getting really good..., There can be little doubt that he will offend again...     
2       verb   If you doubt whether something is true or possible, you believe that it is probably not true or possible.  
Others doubted whether that would happen...      V wh  
He doubted if he would learn anything new from Marie...      V if  
She doubted that the accident could have been avoided.      V that  
3       verb   If you doubt something, you believe that it might not be true or genuine.  
No one doubted his ability...      V n  
4       verb   If you doubt someone or doubt their word, you think that they may not be telling the truth.,   (Antonym: trust)    No one directly involved with the case doubted him...      V n  
5    You say that something is beyond doubt or beyond reasonable doubt when you are certain that it is true and it cannot be contradicted or disproved.  
beyond doubt      phrase   PHR after v, v-link PHR     (emphasis)    A referendum showed beyond doubt that voters wanted independence...     
6    If you are in doubt about something, you feel unsure or uncertain about it.  
in doubt      phrase   v-link PHR, oft PHR about/as to n  
He is in no doubt as to what is needed..., When in doubt, call the doctor.     
7    You say I doubt it as a response to a question or statement about something that you think is untrue or unlikely.  
I doubt it      convention  
`Somebody would have seen her.'—`I doubt it, not on Monday.'     
8    If you say that something is in doubt or open to doubt, you consider it to be uncertain or unreliable.  
in doubt      phrase   v-link PHR   (=uncertain)  
The outcome was still in doubt..., That claim is increasingly open to doubt.     
9    You use no doubt to emphasize that something seems certain or very likely to you.  
no doubt      phrase   PHR with cl     (emphasis)    (=undoubtedly)  
The contract for this will no doubt be widely advertised...     
10    You use no doubt to indicate that you accept the truth of a particular point, but that you do not consider it is important or contradicts the rest of what you are saying.  
no doubt      phrase   PHR with cl  
No doubt many will regard these as harsh words, but regrettably they are true.     
11    If you say that something is true without doubt or without a doubt, you are emphasizing that it is definitely true.  
without (a) doubt      phrase   PHR with cl     (emphasis)    (=undoubtedly)  
Without doubt this was the most important relationship I developed at college...     
    the benefit of the doubt  
    a shadow of a doubt  

Self-doubt is a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities.      n-uncount  
  (Antonym: confidence)   
Translation English Cobuild Collins Dictionary  



1    discredit, distrust, fear, lack confidence in, misgive, mistrust, query, question, suspect  
2    apprehension, disquiet, distrust, fear, incredulity, lack of faith, misgiving, mistrust, qualm, scepticism, suspicion  
3    be dubious, be uncertain, demur, fluctuate, hesitate, scruple, vacillate, waver  
4    dubiety, hesitancy, hesitation, indecision, irresolution, lack of conviction, suspense, uncertainty, vacillation  
5    ambiguity, can of worms     (informal)   confusion, difficulty, dilemma, perplexity, problem, quandary  
6    no doubt      admittedly, assuredly, certainly, doubtless, doubtlessly, probably, surely  
1 & 3    accept, believe, buy     (slang)   have faith in, swallow     (informal)   take on board, trust  
2, 4 & 6    belief, certainty, confidence, conviction, trust  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

Collaborative Dictionary     English Cobuild
avoid or at least minimize risks ; choose the safest way in case of doubt
to be on the safe side ; play safe
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