doubt definition, doubt meaning | English dictionary

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1    uncertainty about the truth, fact, or existence of something (esp. in the phrases in doubt, without doubt, beyond a shadow of doubt, etc.)  
2    often pl   lack of belief in or conviction about something  
all his doubts about the project disappeared     
3    an unresolved difficulty, point, etc.  
4      (Philosophy)   the methodical device, esp. in the philosophy of Descartes, of identifying certain knowledge as the residue after rejecting any proposition which might, however improbably, be false  
5    Obsolete   fear  
6    give (someone) the benefit of the doubt   to presume (someone suspected of guilt) innocent; judge leniently  
7    no doubt   almost certainly  
8    tr; may take a clause as object   to be inclined to disbelieve  
I doubt we are late     
9    tr   to distrust or be suspicious of  
he doubted their motives     
10    intr   to feel uncertainty or be undecided  
11    tr; may take a clause as object     (Scot)   to be inclined to believe  
12    tr  
Archaic   to fear  
13    I wouldn't doubt (someone)     (Irish)   I would expect nothing else from (someone)  
     (C13: from Old French douter, from Latin dubitare)  
  doubtable      adj  
  doubtably      adv  
  doubter      n  
  doubtingly      adv  
Where a clause follows doubt in a positive sentence, it was formerly considered correct to use whether: (I doubt whether he will come ), but now if and that are also acceptable. In negative statements, doubt is followed by that: I do not doubt that he is telling the truth. In such sentences, but (I do not doubt but that he is telling the truth) is redundant  
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus  



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 Definition
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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