From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdoubtdoubt1 /daʊt/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 UNCERTAIN FEELING[countable, uncountable]NOT SURE a feeling of being not sure whether something is true or rightdoubt about The incident raises doubts about the safety of nuclear power.doubt as to Some government ministers had serious doubts as to whether the policy would work. There was still one little nagging doubt at the back of his mind. There’s no doubt that he was a major artist.2 → no doubt3 → if/when (you’re) in doubt4 → be in doubt5 → beyond doubt6 → without doubt7 → open to doubt → self-doubt, → give somebody/something the benefit of the doubt at benefit1(4)COLLOCATIONSverbshave doubtsScientists still have some doubts about the theory.have your doubts (=have some doubts)Everyone else thinks it’s a good idea, but I have my doubts.have no/little doubtI have no doubt that you are right.be in no/any doubt about somethingThe government is in no doubt about the seriousness of the situation.leave no/little doubt (that) (=make people sure or almost sure about something)The evidence left no doubt that he was the murderer.cast/throw doubt on something (=make people unsure about something)Research has cast doubt on the safety of mobile phones.raise doubts about something (=make people unsure about something)His handling of the matter has raised doubts about his competence.call/throw something into doubt (=make people unsure about something)The accuracy of his account was called into doubt.express/voice doubts (=say that you have doubts)Many people expressed doubts about the necessity of the war.adjectivesserious/grave doubtsThey have some serious doubts as to his honesty.considerable doubtsI had considerable doubts about accepting the job.a lingering/nagging doubt (=one that does not go away)I still had a nagging doubt that there might be something seriously wrong.phrasesthere is no/little/some doubt (=used to talk about how sure people are about something)There is little doubt that he will play for England one day.without a shadow of a doubt (=without any doubt)I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was going to win.an element of doubt (=a slight doubt)There’s an element of doubt about his true age as he doesn’t have a birth certificate.not the slightest doubt (=no doubt)There’s not the slightest doubt in my mind about it.
Examples from the Corpusdoubt• I hope to convince any doubters in the audience that our policies will work.• However, some critics have expressed doubts over whether future governments can be locked into the promises.• He worked to dispel his doubts about his friend as though to pass another test, like his ordeal in the park.• If in doubt, try the front door.• Little doubt what the weight of opinion was there.• It casts more doubt on Wallace's conviction in 1981 of the killing of his friend, antique dealer Jonathan Lewis.• There seems no doubt ever in your minds that the Emperor is more powerful than you are, or Hari Seldon wiser.• Then he thought of Benedicta and felt a twinge of doubt.• There seems to be some doubt as to what warnings were given.• There are still some doubts about her suitability for the job.• Especially in the early thirties, the ideas in the central tradition acted powerfully to breed such doubts.There’s no doubt that• There's no doubt that brushed chrome and quality buttons are preferable to ill-fitting plastic.• There's no doubt that the Conwy Valley line is one of Britain's best known and loved branch lines.• There's no doubt that the ideal size, space and pocket permitting, is a 3' or 4' tank.• There's no doubt that there is a case for saying that Bayfield is too big for front-jumping.• But there's no doubt that using energy efficiently reduces the emission of greenhouse gases.• But there's no doubt that while they're here, these children stand a far better chance of becoming adults.• In practice, there's no doubt that they know what they're doing.doubtdoubt2 ●●● S2 verb [transitive not in progressive] 1 DON'T THINK SO/DOUBT ITto think that something may not be true or that it is unlikely Kim never doubted his story.doubt (that) I doubt we’ll ever see him again.doubt if/whether You can complain, but I doubt if it’ll make any difference. ‘Do you think there’ll be any tickets left?’ ‘I doubt it (=I don’t think so).’2 DON'T THINK SO/DOUBT ITto not trust or have confidence in someone I never doubted myself. I always knew I could play tennis at this level. She loved him, and had never doubted him. I have no reason to doubt his word (=think that he is lying). —doubter noun [countable]GrammarPatterns with doubt• You doubt whether someone can do something: I doubt whether we can afford a new car.She doubted whether she could trust him again.• You doubt whether something will happen: I doubt whether the plan will work. He doubted whether this would happen. • You can also say doubt if with the same meaning as doubt whether: I doubt if we can afford a new car.I doubt if the plan will work.• You can also say doubt that: I doubt that we can afford a new car.I doubt that the plan will work. ✗Don’t say: doubt aboutUsing the progressiveThe verb doubt is not usually used in the progressive. You say: I doubt he’ll come to the party. ✗Don’t say: I am doubting he’ll come to the party.THESAURUSdoubt to think that something may not be true or that it is unlikely‘Do you think she really is eighteen?’ ‘I doubt it.’There was so much noise that I doubt if anyone slept.be doubtful/dubious /ˈdjuːbiəs $ ˈduː- / to doubt that something will happen, is true, or is a good ideaEconomists are doubtful that the situation will improve this year.‘You can eat the whole fish including the head.’ Janey looked dubious.When my husband suggested emigrating, I was dubious at first.Mum looked doubtful when I suggested having a party for all my friends.have reservations to feel that a plan or idea may not be good because you think there may be some problems with itHealth care professionals had reservations about giving both vaccines together.have misgivings to feel worried about doing something, because it may have a bad resultRalph had serious misgivings about changing his career at the age of 50.have mixed feelings to be unsure exactly how you feel about something or someone because there are both good and bad things about themI have very mixed feelings about moving house – it’s exciting but I’ll miss this area.have second thoughts to start having doubts about whether a decision you have just made is the right oneI liked the dress in the shop, but when I got it home I had second thoughts. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusdoubt• He wondered how he could ever have doubted her.• In all the years I knew him I never once doubted his story.• We'd better go to the party, but I doubt if it'll be very exciting.• He may be able to do a good job, but I doubt it.• It was possible that Maggie had been delayed, but he doubted it.• No-one can doubt its power to evoke the imagination of millions upon millions of people through the ages and today.• Her sincerity made me doubt my own version of events.• Who could doubt that at this late date?• They doubt that Caravaggio was even homosexual, as is widely believed.• I doubted that I would find one in time.• Still, I could not doubt that my vision had occurred, even though I had no way to verify it.• Some people doubted that the attacks on the American ships had actually taken place.• He doubted that the car was hers because everyone knew she had no money.• At the time we seriously doubted that the doctor had got the diagnosis right.• The Navy never seriously doubted the inquiry's findings.• She says she'll leave him, but I doubt very much that she will.• I doubt whether I'll be able to find a decent car for the price I can afford.• They seriously doubted whether the letter had ever existed.• I very much doubt whether we'll get someone for the job by September.I doubt it• He might show up later, but I doubt it.• And will the plant achieve its quota of employees with disabilities? I doubt it. 2.• I might ask for sand, though I doubt it.• It seemed to go on for a long time, but I doubt it was more than a minute or two.• Maybe next time we shall consign the polls to their proper place alongside the racing tips, but somehow I doubt it.• Was he interested anyway? I doubt it.• Will they? I doubt it.• Would I ever look at nature that way, as something so kind, so fundamentally good? I doubted it.doubt ... word• But in speech, these words are specifically pointed out so that the listener can be in no doubt.• Once the issue is validly raised, the prosecution has the burden of disproving it beyond reasonable doubt.• Here, then, the doubts about precatory words are reasonable doubts whether they clearly express an intention on the part of a testator.• Once you doubt my word, that's it.• I expect you will not doubt my word too?• She doubted the words would even be able to leave her mouth.Origin doubt2 (1200-1300) French douter, from Latin dubitare