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to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.
to distrust.
Archaic. to fear; be apprehensive about.
to be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief.
a feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature of something.
a state of affairs such as to occasion uncertainty.
Obsolete. fear; dread.
beyond the shadow of a doubt, with certainty; definitely.
Also, beyond a doubt, beyond doubt.
in doubt, in a state of uncertainty or suspense:
His appointment to the position is still in doubt.
no doubt,

There is no doubt an element of truth in what you say.

without doubt, unquestionably; certainly.
Contemporary Examples

For only with that knowledge would they have had enough information to make an informed—and, no doubt, sophisticated—decision.
The Irrefutable Moral Case Against Goldman Tunku Varadarajan April 18, 2010

But I doubt it will have a lasting influence on Polish politics.
The Future of Poland Marcin Krol April 16, 2010

“There’s an adrenaline rush in being in war zones, and there’s no doubt Lara thrived on it,” says CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager.
The Price Lara Logan Paid Howard Kurtz February 19, 2011

When I’m invited to speak at a conference, I doubt that I’m qualified.
Is There a Gender Divide in Startups? Leah Culver August 30, 2010

No doubt, liberal Israelis like Manekin favor a two-state deal, but fear a hollow process for the sake of process.
John Kerry Asks American Jews To Support Peace Efforts Ali Gharib June 3, 2013

Historical Examples

No doubt; still I should be better pleased if they were back home.
The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Emile Zola

The man who has just saved his life can no doubt obtain any favour.
Philothea Lydia Maria Child

Then, observing his stupefaction and the return of doubt to his mind, she hurried on.
Louisiana Lou William West Winter

I can’t remember when I haven’t awakened to doubt, and worry, and heart-sickness.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

I liked him, and, no doubt seeing it, he came and came again every evening.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

uncertainty about the truth, fact, or existence of something (esp in the phrases in doubt, without doubt, beyond a shadow of doubt, etc)
(often pl) lack of belief in or conviction about something: all his doubts about the project disappeared
an unresolved difficulty, point, etc
(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
(obsolete) fear
give someone the benefit of the doubt, to presume someone suspected of guilt to be innocent; judge leniently
no doubt, almost certainly
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to be inclined to disbelieve: I doubt we are late
(transitive) to distrust or be suspicious of: he doubted their motives
(intransitive) to feel uncertainty or be undecided
(transitive; may take a clause as object) (Scot) to be inclined to believe
(transitive) (archaic) to fear
(Irish) I wouldn’t doubt someone, I would expect nothing else from someone

early 13c., “to dread, fear,” from Old French doter “doubt, be doubtful; be afraid,” from Latin dubitare “to doubt, question, hesitate, waver in opinion” (related to dubius “uncertain;” see dubious), originally “to have to choose between two things.”

The sense of “fear” developed in Old French and was passed on to English. Meaning “to be uncertain” is attested in English from c.1300. The -b- was restored 14c. by scribes in imitation of Latin. Replaced Old English tweogan (noun twynung), from tweon “two,” on notion of “of two minds” or the choice of two implied in Latin dubitare (cf. German Zweifel “doubt,” from zwei “two”).

early 13c., from Old French dote (11c.) “fear, dread; doubt,” from doter (see doubt (v.)).

beyond a doubt
cast doubt on
give the benefit of the doubt
no doubt
shadow of a doubt


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