Definition of question in English:



  • 1A sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information.

    ‘we hope this leaflet has been helpful in answering your questions’
    • ‘Here is some background information that may help answer the questions.’
    • ‘He now refuses to speak to Swedish journalists and he chooses his words carefully when answering questions.’
    • ‘Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word.’
    • ‘Ask questions to elicit answers that will show you if this is a person you want treating your growing teen.’
    • ‘Certainly, a Minister cannot dodge a question by questioning the word of a member.’
    • ‘It also implies that a computer can never be programmed to answer all mathematical questions.’
    • ‘Leaflets will be available giving up to date information and questions can be answered.’
    • ‘Curiously, you might not actually perceive this as a question designed to elicit information.’
    • ‘She lets Chomsky answer these tough questions in his own words.’
    • ‘Organisers of both courses will be there on the evening to provide information and answer questions.’
    • ‘They refuse to answer questions adequately; they refuse to provide detailed information.’
    • ‘I believe that only he would have the information to answer the questions that I would pose.’
    • ‘A doctor or nurse went on each visit to answer any questions and give health information.’
    • ‘They want all information relevant to their question so they can formulate an answer.’
    • ‘I must however add a few words regarding how the question is to be approached and answered.’
    • ‘Staff from the council offices will take questions and information will be available about council services.’
    • ‘The chapter ends by providing common questions and answers about computer consulting.’
    • ‘The major challenge for the project group was to reach all staff members with information and answer their questions.’
    • ‘Interested parents are invited to come along to the meeting this evening to ask questions and gather information.’
    • ‘Perhaps the best way to put this is simply to say it exactly as the question is worded.’
    enquiry, query
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A doubt about the truth or validity of something.
      ‘there's no question that the company's true financial situation is different’
      • ‘It left Bradford coach Brian Noble fuming and many others raising questions about the validity of the player's actions.’
      • ‘It also raises questions about the justification for this omissions liability, and whether citizens have fair warning of it.’
      • ‘At that time we had a lot of questions as to the validity of that information.’
      • ‘It was the seventh time Harrington had finished second that season and naturally his mind screamed with questions and doubts.’
      • ‘Yet this must surely raise questions over the validity of the prize itself.’
      • ‘However, the question of the validity of soft dollars was not a debatable matter until recently.’
      • ‘I will return to the question of scientific validity at the end of my reply.’
      • ‘He was always certain that when he met the right woman there would be no lingering doubts or questions.’
      • ‘It also raises questions about controls at the company's head office to enforce common standards across the group’
      • ‘No question of the validity of a law made by the Parliament arises in these proceedings.’
      • ‘Will his violation raise questions about the validity of his case for a spot in the Hall of Fame some day?’
      • ‘If you have questions or doubts about the paint, have your local paint store check it for you.’
      • ‘For some the confidence of adolescence is replaced with questions and doubt, marking the transition to adulthood.’
      • ‘This would raise even more questions about the validity of the use of an MLAT, and the Home Office's involvement in it.’
      • ‘There are also some questions over the validity of the Lancet study in the case of measuring casualties in Iraq.’
      • ‘Two threads in the literature raise important questions about their validity.’
      • ‘She was not prepared to give even the benefit of the doubt over the question of the mob's fighting prowess.’
      doubt, dispute, argument, debate, uncertainty, dubiousness, controversy, reservation
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2mass noun The raising of a doubt about or objection to something.
      ‘Edward was the only one she obeyed without question’
      ‘her loyalty is really beyond question’
      • ‘It looks like Ben is going to save the day, and everybody obeys his orders without question.’
      • ‘There is simply no Archimedean point on which we can stand and make statements that are beyond question.’
      • ‘Let me assure all concerned that any rainbow trout the size of salmon in this country are, without question, farmed.’
      • ‘George Harrison will be remembered, beyond question, on his own terms, as a quiet man meeting a quiet end.’
      • ‘But we carry that burden and continue to serve to the best of our ability and go forth without question.’
      • ‘The medical benefits of research on primates are beyond question.’
      • ‘Much has been made of the fact that we must pass this bill quickly and without question to show our support for the troops.’
      • ‘Hal Sutton's US team was simply never in the contest, as this DVD proves beyond question.’
      • ‘If Nelson had lost Britain would have been invaded, without question.’
      • ‘It begins at the end and ends at the beginning and is, without question, entertaining and moving.’
      • ‘He is without question of that immortal company of artists who make all of our strivings less petty, more worth while.’
      • ‘That we need a strong Army to maintain our national stability and sovereignty is also beyond question.’
      • ‘Throughout her career, her commitment was never in doubt and her courage beyond question.’
      • ‘The compilations always, without question, included his preamble to the track and his following comments.’
      • ‘If he told one of us to do something we did it without question.’
      • ‘Their technical abilities have always been beyond question, but it takes more that pure skill to make a ballet company.’
      • ‘While he always obeys an instruction without question, his only acknowledgement of the request comes in the form of a grunt or a nod.’
      • ‘Almost all of what is left of this wonderful railway is in deep cuttings and this will attract undesirables without question.’
      • ‘But I also believe that that support should not be given without question in all circumstances.’
      • ‘That she has a great pair of lungs on her is beyond question, but perhaps you have had to live a little first to really mean what you sing about.’
      undoubted, beyond doubt, without doubt, certain, indubitable, indisputable, irrefutable, incontestable, incontrovertible, unquestionable, undeniable, unmistakable, clear, patent, manifest, obvious, palpable
      indisputably, irrefutably, incontestably, incontrovertibly, unquestionably, undeniably, undoubtedly, beyond doubt, without doubt, certainly, indubitably, unmistakably, clearly, patently, manifestly, obviously, palpably
      View synonyms
  • 2A matter requiring resolution or discussion.

    ‘the question of local government funding worried ministers’
    • ‘That is why the political questions we are discussing today are so significant.’
    • ‘This raises a number of questions which no doubt The Register's beloved readers will be pleased to weigh in on.’
    • ‘There is no doubt the moral question of how to balance relative evils in this case is a very difficult one.’
    • ‘The first of these, with Pico Iyer as moderator, discussed questions of national identity.’
    • ‘Our discussion will consider questions of rights, individual freedom, harm, and conceptions of the good life.’
    • ‘But key questions remain unanswered following the case, about the legal protection available to those making claims of abuse.’
    • ‘This scenario no doubt raises questions as to whether it is morally right for a teacher to date a pupil.’
    • ‘Morgan resolved an important question relating to the interpretation of Title VII, the central federal anti-discrimination statute.’
    • ‘Still ahead here, is it a question of states' rights, or is it a violation of civil rights?’
    • ‘In Question Time Mark Latham wanted to focus on the question of truth in government.’
    • ‘Such questions of moral validity, he continues, are best left in the domain of religion.’
    • ‘He asked for subsequent parish council meetings to discuss the question of lack of support from Bradford Council.’
    • ‘One of them was an article authored by Mahatma Gandhi, discussing the minority question.’
    • ‘To bring in these wider questions requires them to dissent from the government line.’
    • ‘The validity issue raises questions about whether we are measuring the appropriate things in the final examination.’
    • ‘The film-makers were asked to work on the question of conflict and resolution between communities.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, key questions remain unanswered: How much pressure can Bangalore roads take?’
    subject, subject matter, theme, issue, matter, point, talking point, concern, argument, discussion, thesis, text, concept, field, area, keynote, leitmotif
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    1. 2.1 A matter or concern depending on or involving a specified condition or thing.
      ‘it was not simply a question of age and hierarchy’
      • ‘Identity is not a matter of physical or moral features, it is a question of space.’
      • ‘It's not just a question of corporate control over the news, but rather how the news is made.’
      • ‘At the end of this month's debate in Spain, discussion turned to the question of patronage.’
      • ‘A crucial meeting was due to take place today to discuss four vital questions on the future of the Metrolink.’
      • ‘In short, this study reminds us that power is not so much a matter of discourse as a question of turf.’
      • ‘There is a question of trust and it is a live issue and we have to deal with it.’
      • ‘He said the project was still on the cards as far as North Yorkshire Police were concerned, but it was a question of money.’
      • ‘Three months is not long in a new demanding job and perhaps it's more a question of how you and your girlfriend are handling these changes.’
      • ‘It is only a question of getting the farmers together and educating them.’
      • ‘Was it a question of lost spontaneity, or was it a matter of simply not feeling everything connect like it could?’
      • ‘After that, it's just a question of deciding which restaurant to take your group to once the show is over and how you are going to get them there.’
      • ‘That has to be a question of opinion rather than fact, so it depends on what you make of the evidence.’
      • ‘All songs have meaning to someone, it's more a question of subject matter.’
      • ‘He points out that if you have already got tens of millions of willing users, it's just a question of working out what you can charge them for.’
      • ‘This is a question of practical importance and a subject of debate in tax literature.’
      • ‘A second issue which we have not discussed here is the question of the housing market.’
      • ‘Colin Davey, a member of the Bradford team, said it was a question of educating businesses about the tax system.’
      • ‘It was just a question of whether Scotland's vastly more experienced players could put out the young dragons' fire.’
      • ‘Epstein is quite right in insisting that this issue must be dealt with as a question of principle.’
      • ‘Much of the discussion centers on the question of public broadcasting's bias.’
      issue, matter, business, problem, point at issue, point, concern, subject, topic, theme, item, case, proposal, proposition, debate, argument, dispute, bone of contention, controversy
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[with object]
  • 1Ask (someone) questions, especially in an official context.

    ‘four men were being questioned about the killings’
    • ‘Detectives carefully planned the interview and how they were going to question him.’
    • ‘Officers in Finglas Station will question people who were at the scene to establish how the man was shot.’
    • ‘If a policeman questions a teenager, they must fill out a 40 question form.’
    • ‘They followed up the raid by staking out the area over the bank holiday weekend to question people visiting the house.’
    • ‘After questioning his wife, police said that he may have left for Pakistan earlier this month.’
    • ‘He was questioned by police and released on bail pending further inquiries.’
    • ‘Police arrested one man in connection with the crime and were questioning him yesterday.’
    • ‘Police have started questioning the driver and passengers after a coach overturned on a mountain road.’
    • ‘Police were yesterday questioning a man after a teenager was found stabbed to death in the street.’
    • ‘A policewoman told a jury how she ran after a driver who sped off as she was questioning him.’
    • ‘Hammer was arrested on Sunday night after six people were questioned at a house near the crime scene.’
    • ‘When he was questioned he admitted taking the purse and the prescription pad and finding the other items.’
    • ‘When he was questioned he told officers that he carried the screwdriver as a weapon because he was a paranoid man.’
    • ‘He was taken to Lucan where he was questioned and then charged with drugs offences.’
    • ‘The detention plans were put forward after senior police officers argued they needed extra time to question suspects.’
    • ‘At the last minute, Hain was told that his interrogators were in fact planning to question him about something else.’
    • ‘Although a number of people were questioned under caution, no-one was ever charged.’
    • ‘Then they were stopping, searching and questioning people as they came through.’
    • ‘Police are also keen to question the soldiers at the nearby Fort George army barracks who were on duty on the night of the fatal shooting.’
    • ‘Police were today questioning a man whose arrest led to a series of anti-terrorist raids last night.’
    interrogate, ask questions of, put questions to, cross-examine, cross-question, quiz, probe, canvass, catechize, interview, debrief, sound out, examine, give the third degree to
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    1. 1.1 Feel or express doubt about; raise objections to.
      ‘members had questioned the cost of the scheme’
      • ‘The interviewer was aghast that I could question the prime minister's integrity.’
      • ‘Some critics question the authenticity of the tablets.’
      • ‘Nobody questions the wisdom behind the decision to set up the commission.’
      • ‘Mired in depression and doubt, he started to question his most fundamental beliefs.’
      • ‘If a battle did not succeed, its execution, not its objectives, were questioned.’
      • ‘It has given some an excuse to question our cause and to cast doubt on our motives.’
      • ‘It is your right as a member to question these actions, and request such modifications as you see fit.’
      • ‘Now, it was not for me to question her purity, but I had certain doubts about her saintliness.’
      • ‘The final line of defence is to question the priorities of those who continue to raise Iraq, and dismiss the issue as a bore.’
      • ‘If you question the cost; a local agency told us we should focus on the child and somehow raise the money.’
      • ‘However, in light of recent data many have started to question whether it will raise rates again so soon.’
      • ‘I constantly question his love, which has led to him doubting our relationship.’
      • ‘A series of public meetings have also been organised where people can question council officers about the plans.’
      • ‘Scientists are constantly questioning their assumptions and challenging their own findings.’
      • ‘It questions the bland aphorisms of beauty and raises the difficult issues of purity and exclusivity.’
      • ‘At no time was an audience challenged to question a moral conundrum, or inspired to see the world through different eyes.’
      • ‘No matter what our build we always have doubts; we always question our desirability and self-worth.’
      • ‘He was raised a Methodist but began to question his faith after seeing so many die in the Korean war.’
      • ‘Some people are even questioning its viability as a company.’
      • ‘But no one is seriously questioning its validity.’
      query, call in question, call into question, doubt, entertain doubts about, raise doubts about, throw doubt on, express suspicions about, harbour suspicions about, have suspicions about, suspect, feel uneasy about, express reservations about, harbour reservations about, have reservations about, challenge, dispute, cast aspersions on, object to, raise objections to
      View synonyms


  • be a question of time

    • Be certain to happen sooner or later.

      ‘it is only a question of time before somebody is killed’
      • ‘The son of a firefighter and a paramedic, Greg says he was brought up with the emergency services ethos and knew it was only a question of time before he too joined up.’
      • ‘Some say that it is a question of time before this changes.’
      • ‘It is only a question of time and trying to get the adequate funding to make it happen, ‘she told The Montserrat Reporter.’’
      • ‘For years now the Government has announced the national strategy is working and that it is just a question of time before we all see the results.’
      • ‘It is only a question of time before there is a very serious accident on this stretch, a police spokesman said.’
      • ‘It is only a question of time before a case triggers a significant outbreak here.’
      • ‘And I honestly believe that they will be found, and it's just a question of time at this point.’
      • ‘It's now just a question of time before we see other sports being played at Ireland's most popular sporting venue and overall the initial reactions have been very positive to the secret ballot decision.’
      • ‘It's just a question of time before this happens.’
      • ‘Next to a grainy black-and-white photo of a youthful man in a beard, a large inscription reads, ‘Our victory is merely a question of time.’’
  • bring something into question

    • Raise an issue for further consideration or discussion.

      ‘technology had brought into question the whole future of work’
      • ‘If you turn 30 acres of chateau vineyards into 150 acres then you are bringing its reputation into question.’
      • ‘In the mid-1970s this theory was brought into question by three separate lines of evidence.’
      • ‘While that move was brought into question by several people, what has finally emerged is worse!’
      • ‘Stunned silence for a few moments and then all hell let loose as my lineage was brought into question by a few ‘concerned’ supporters.’
      • ‘It's not that a community can't exist without a good mix of the rich and poor, but rather what is actually meant by the word community is brought into question.’
      • ‘Massive write downs under the smokescreen of a new CEO will only demonstrate the old guard's failings and bring their tenure into question.’
      • ‘These groups are good at recognizing what is in the nation's best interest, but the process breaks down when actual funding priorities are brought into question.’
      • ‘A number of anti-social activities in recent months have brought the tranquility into question.’
      • ‘Then even the integrity of the final narrator is brought into question by yet another revelation.’
      • ‘If researchers are willing to disseminate misleading claims then their integrity is brought into question.’
  • come into question

    • Become an issue for further consideration or discussion.

      ‘our Sunday Trading laws have come into question’
      • ‘Suddenly, its authorship comes into question, as do the motives of those left behind.’
      • ‘If the Government is able to transfer questions of this sort of importance to any old Minister, who can use those responses as answers, then the point of question time does seriously come into question.’
      • ‘The Security Council will have to take this extremely seriously, indeed, otherwise its own future will come into question.’
      • ‘It seems however, that faith in economic growth to signify the change and development as the key to progress comes into question as the Earth's life-support systems fray and indicators of ecological collapse multiply.’
      • ‘Diversion of water has increasingly come into question because once the water is diverted, it is highly unlikely that the receiving area will ever relinquish these augmented waters.’
      • ‘Well then, you might not be the right person for the job, and that job may not be the right one for you, but better to find out now, than in two months when the Microsoft Word expertise you claimed you had is coming into question.’
      • ‘First, the legitimacy of the sitting government comes into question, because that legitimacy rests on the legitimacy of the elections that define it.’
      • ‘Their sons and daughters serve in large numbers in a war whose validity is increasingly coming into question.’
      • ‘Americans are wondering where to turn for pain relief as the safety of one medicine after another comes into question.’
      • ‘After all, the more unkind the times, the more the survival of the culture itself comes into question.’
  • good question

    • Said to indicate that one has been asked a particularly tricky question to which one does not know the answer.

      ‘What's it all about, then? Good question!’
      • ‘We are a world game, and we're also the largest participation sport, so why aren't we successful? Well, good question.’
      • ‘Are his controversial statements part of his fight to remain relevant? It's a good question and we want to hear from you.’
      • ‘That's a good question, Fred, why now after 30 years.’
      • ‘What will be the impact on those now nearing retirement age? Good question.’
      • ‘How did we go from a $20 million budget being a lot to a $120 million budget being a lot? Good question.’
  • in question

    • 1Being considered or discussed.

      ‘on the day in question, there were several serious emergencies’
      • ‘The land in question enjoys a prime location on one of the town's major access routes.’
      • ‘Having seen the picture in question, it would certainly seem as though the shape is that of a skull.’
      • ‘The policy in question is less than a year old and this is the first election for which it has been in place.’
      • ‘I would think that the woman in question has severe emotional issues that should be dealt with.’
      • ‘The Defendant has made considerable efforts to identify the individuals in question.’
      • ‘There is no doubt that many of the compounds in question were inactive; others less so.’
      • ‘Furthermore it's equally hard to believe that the song in question is that old.’
      • ‘If it has evidence of an infringement, it has to issue a reasoned opinion to the state in question.’
      • ‘You could phone the person in question and explain your worries and fears.’
      • ‘It seems to me that part of the dilemma you are discussing herein is not a function of the art in question per se.’
      at issue, being discussed, under discussion, under consideration, on the agenda, for debate, to be discussed, to be decided
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    • 2In doubt.

      ‘all of the old certainties are in question’
      • ‘In the past we did not take sufficient action quick enough for those whose performance was in question.’
      • ‘His good faith may not be in question, but his credibility most certainly is.’
      • ‘Then his positioning was in question as sub Andy Sullivan scored Whyteleafe's third.’
      • ‘That was no doubt the case of the minister whose expenses were in question in the case of Jardine v Gillespie.’
      • ‘When someone's life is in question, we have to be able to make a clear and conscious decision as to their guilt.’
      • ‘Their patriotism, more in evidence then than it is today, was not in question.’
      • ‘Our report made clear why it was felt that the future of up to eight of the 24 churches in the area was in question.’
  • no question of

    • No possibility of.

      ‘there is no question of the fight not going ahead’
      • ‘We were all taken back by the ease of it all, the fact that there was no question of not paying the tax.’
      • ‘Mr Devlin insists the public's concerns have been taken on board and that there is no question of overlooking them.’
      • ‘It is evident that there is no question of whether he will do this, only about how long it will take.’
      • ‘We know that, for the time being, there is no question of our vote having any effect on the direction that Europe takes.’
      • ‘Given the huge success of the original operation, there was no question of phasing out the dotcom offerings.’
      • ‘So, once again there is no question of when the expansion took place, it is an eternal reality.’
      • ‘They were playing like men possessed and there was no question of this Charlton side being intimidated by United.’
      • ‘There was no question of Eriksson walking out on England before or during the European championship finals.’
      • ‘They need, too, to be protected from exploitation, but there was no question of that in this case.’
      • ‘While the St Peter's Way camera was already yellow, there was no question of moving it - so the sign had to go.’
  • out of the question

    • Too impracticable or unlikely to merit discussion.

      • ‘Games that involved any running were completely out of the question.’
      • ‘Stretching is just about possible; touching the toes is out of the question.’
      • ‘The closest railhead was hundreds of miles away and, in those early days of aviation, an air drop was out of the question.’
      • ‘The idea that we somehow want to limit our trade with Mexico is out of the question.’
      • ‘The songwriters all seem so elated with the arrangement that a studio album may not be out of the question.’
      • ‘Keeping the child was out of the question, and not just because it was an era when unwanted pregnancies were scandals.’
      • ‘Wearing them in public was completely out of the question, of course.’
      • ‘A casino is out of the question, as are any other new forms of gambling.’
      • ‘During his illness Colm was never able to leave the house and going to school was out of the question for him.’
      • ‘Marriage to such a man with so little regard for the subtleties of English, she intimated, was out of the question.’
      impossible, beyond the bounds of possibility, impracticable, unattainable, unachievable, not feasible, not worth considering, unworkable, unobtainable, inconceivable, unthinkable, unimaginable, unrealizable, unsuitable
      View synonyms
  • put the question

    • (in a formal debate or meeting) require supporters and opponents of a proposal to record their votes.

      • ‘At least 10 states are putting the question to a referendum and opinion polls in Britain, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic show majorities of voters opposed.’
      • ‘For now, Yaroslavsky is holding firm and does not favor putting the question to voters.’
      • ‘I just say that I am required to put the question.’
      • ‘France and The Netherlands would have to re-run their referenda before some countries will risk putting the question to the people.’
      • ‘The Hansard record clearly shows that the Deputy Speaker had not put the question.’
      • ‘The Immigration Minister says Australia is not obliged to follow the UN request, prompting Senator Nettle to put the question again.’
      • ‘Steinbach city council could well come in for some sound criticism in the coming days and weeks after narrowly deciding on Tuesday to put the question of licensed dining rooms to a vote.’
      • ‘Could I point out to the Leader of the House that if he cares to read them out I will put the question separately at the end of the debate?’
      • ‘Under provincial legislation, a petition with enough signatures can force city council to put the question on a plebiscite.’
      • ‘I have already put the question and the vote has been taken.’


Late Middle English: from Old French question (noun), questionner (verb), from Latin quaestio(n-), from quaerere ‘ask, seek’.