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--noun (singular: doubt; plural: doubts)

1. doubtfulness: the state of being unsure of something.
2. doubtfulness: uncertainty about the truth or factuality or existence of something.

--verb usually used with object (verb: doubt; 3rd person present: doubts; past tense: doubted; past participle: doubted; gerund or present participle: doubting)

3. to consider unlikely or have doubts about.
  • "I doubt that she will accept his proposal of marriage."
4. to lack confidence in or have doubts about.
  • "I doubt these reports."
c.1225, from Old French douter, from Latin dubitare "hesitate, waver in opinion" (related to dubius "uncertain"), originally "to have to choose between two things." The sense of "fear" developed in Old French and was passed on to Eng. 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 (confer Ger. Zweifel "doubt," from zwei "two").
How to use "doubt"?
To doubt is to lack conviction. Incompleteness of evidence may compel one to doubt, or some perverse bias of mind may incline him to.

Distrust may express simply a lack of confidence; as, I distrust my own judgment; or it may be nearly equivalent to suspect; as, I distrusted that man from the start.

Mistrust and suspect imply that one is almost assured of positive evil; one may distrust himself or others; he suspects others.

Mistrust is now rarely, if ever, used of persons, but only of motives, intentions, etc.Distrust is always serious; mistrust is often used playfully. Compare SUPPOSE. Compare synonyms for DOUBT, n.

Doubt is a lack of conviction that may refer either to matters of belief or to matters of practise. As regards belief, while doubt is lack of conviction, disbelief is conviction, to the contrary; unbelief refers to a settled state of mind, generally accompanied with opposition of heart.

Perplexity is active and painful; doubt may be quiescent.

Perplexity presses toward a solution; doubt may be content to linger unresolved. Any improbable statement awakens incredulity. In theological usage unbelief and skepticism have a condemnatory force, as implying wilful rejection of manifest truth. As regards practical matters, uncertainty applies to the unknown or undecided; doubt implies some negative evidence.

Suspense regards the future, and is eager and anxious; uncertainty may relate to any period, and be quite indifferent.

Misgiving is ordinarily in regard to the outcome of something already done or decided; hesitation, indecision, and irresolution have reference to something that remains to be decided or done, and are due oftener to infirmity of will than to lack of knowledge.

Distrust and suspicion apply especially to the motives, character, etc., of others, and are more decidedly adverse than doubt.

Scruple relates to matters of conscience and duty.