Definition of question in English:

question

noun

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

    ‘we hope this leaflet has been helpful in answering your questions’
    • ‘Perhaps the best way to put this is simply to say it exactly as the question is worded.’
    • ‘A doctor or nurse went on each visit to answer any questions and give health information.’
    • ‘I must however add a few words regarding how the question is to be approached and answered.’
    • ‘The chapter ends by providing common questions and answers about computer consulting.’
    • ‘They refuse to answer questions adequately; they refuse to provide detailed information.’
    • ‘Certainly, a Minister cannot dodge a question by questioning the word of a member.’
    • ‘They want all information relevant to their question so they can formulate an answer.’
    • ‘Leaflets will be available giving up to date information and questions can be answered.’
    • ‘Here is some background information that may help answer the questions.’
    • ‘Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word.’
    • ‘She lets Chomsky answer these tough questions in his own words.’
    • ‘Ask questions to elicit answers that will show you if this is a person you want treating your growing teen.’
    • ‘Organisers of both courses will be there on the evening to provide information and answer questions.’
    • ‘It also implies that a computer can never be programmed to answer all mathematical questions.’
    • ‘Curiously, you might not actually perceive this as a question designed to elicit information.’
    • ‘He now refuses to speak to Swedish journalists and he chooses his words carefully when answering questions.’
    • ‘Interested parents are invited to come along to the meeting this evening to ask questions and gather information.’
    • ‘Staff from the council offices will take questions and information will be available about council services.’
    • ‘I believe that only he would have the information to answer the questions that I would pose.’
    • ‘The major challenge for the project group was to reach all staff members with information and answer their questions.’
    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’
      • ‘However, the question of the validity of soft dollars was not a debatable matter until recently.’
      • ‘This would raise even more questions about the validity of the use of an MLAT, and the Home Office's involvement in it.’
      • ‘Two threads in the literature raise important questions about their validity.’
      • ‘Yet this must surely raise questions over the validity of the prize itself.’
      • ‘If you have questions or doubts about the paint, have your local paint store check it for you.’
      • ‘I will return to the question of scientific validity at the end of my reply.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘There are also some questions over the validity of the Lancet study in the case of measuring casualties in Iraq.’
      • ‘He was always certain that when he met the right woman there would be no lingering doubts or questions.’
      • ‘For some the confidence of adolescence is replaced with questions and doubt, marking the transition to adulthood.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She was not prepared to give even the benefit of the doubt over the question of the mob's fighting prowess.’
      • ‘It also raises questions about controls at the company's head office to enforce common standards across the group’
      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’
      • ‘But I also believe that that support should not be given without question in all circumstances.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Almost all of what is left of this wonderful railway is in deep cuttings and this will attract undesirables without question.’
      • ‘While he always obeys an instruction without question, his only acknowledgement of the request comes in the form of a grunt or a nod.’
      • ‘Much has been made of the fact that we must pass this bill quickly and without question to show our support for the troops.’
      • ‘Let me assure all concerned that any rainbow trout the size of salmon in this country are, without question, farmed.’
      • ‘If Nelson had lost Britain would have been invaded, without question.’
      • ‘Hal Sutton's US team was simply never in the contest, as this DVD proves beyond question.’
      • ‘It looks like Ben is going to save the day, and everybody obeys his orders without question.’
      • ‘That we need a strong Army to maintain our national stability and sovereignty is also beyond question.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The compilations always, without question, included his preamble to the track and his following comments.’
      • ‘But we carry that burden and continue to serve to the best of our ability and go forth without question.’
      • ‘George Harrison will be remembered, beyond question, on his own terms, as a quiet man meeting a quiet end.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is simply no Archimedean point on which we can stand and make statements that are beyond question.’
      • ‘Throughout her career, her commitment was never in doubt and her courage beyond question.’
      • ‘The medical benefits of research on primates are beyond question.’
      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
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  • 2A matter requiring resolution or discussion.

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

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Ask (someone) questions, especially in an official context.

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

Phrases

  • be a question of time

    • Be certain to happen sooner or later.

      ‘it is only a question of time before somebody is killed’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Some say that it is a question of time before this changes.’
      • ‘It is only a question of time before there is a very serious accident on this stretch, a police spokesman said.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 a case triggers a significant outbreak here.’
      • ‘It is only a question of time and trying to get the adequate funding to make it happen, ‘she told The Montserrat Reporter.’’
      • ‘It's just a question of time before this happens.’
      • ‘And I honestly believe that they will be found, and it's just a question of time at this point.’
  • bring something into question

    • Raise an issue for further consideration or discussion.

      ‘technology had brought into question the whole future of work’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the mid-1970s this theory was brought into question by three separate lines of evidence.’
      • ‘If researchers are willing to disseminate misleading claims then their integrity is brought into question.’
      • ‘Then even the integrity of the final narrator is brought into question by yet another revelation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While that move was brought into question by several people, what has finally emerged is worse!’
      • ‘If you turn 30 acres of chateau vineyards into 150 acres then you are bringing its reputation into question.’
      • ‘A number of anti-social activities in recent months have brought the tranquility 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.’
  • come into question

    • Become an issue for further consideration or discussion.

      ‘our Sunday Trading laws have come into question’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘First, the legitimacy of the sitting government comes into question, because that legitimacy rests on the legitimacy of the elections that define it.’
      • ‘Americans are wondering where to turn for pain relief as the safety of one medicine after another comes 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.’
      • ‘After all, the more unkind the times, the more the survival of the culture itself comes into question.’
      • ‘Suddenly, its authorship comes into question, as do the motives of those left behind.’
      • ‘The Security Council will have to take this extremely seriously, indeed, otherwise its own future will come into question.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Their sons and daughters serve in large numbers in a war whose validity is increasingly coming 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!’
      • ‘How did we go from a $20 million budget being a lot to a $120 million budget being a lot? Good question.’
      • ‘That's a good question, Fred, why now after 30 years.’
      • ‘What will be the impact on those now nearing retirement age? 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.’
      • ‘We are a world game, and we're also the largest participation sport, so why aren't we successful? Well, good question.’
  • in question

    • 1Being considered or discussed.

      ‘on the day in question, there were several serious emergencies’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If it has evidence of an infringement, it has to issue a reasoned opinion to the state in question.’
      • ‘I would think that the woman in question has severe emotional issues that should be dealt with.’
      • ‘The policy in question is less than a year old and this is the first election for which it has been in place.’
      • ‘The land in question enjoys a prime location on one of the town's major access routes.’
      • ‘It seems to me that part of the dilemma you are discussing herein is not a function of the art in question per se.’
      • ‘Having seen the picture in question, it would certainly seem as though the shape is that of a skull.’
      • ‘You could phone the person in question and explain your worries and fears.’
      • ‘Furthermore it's equally hard to believe that the song in question is that old.’
      at issue, being discussed, under discussion, under consideration, on the agenda, for debate, to be discussed, to be decided
      View synonyms
    • 2In doubt.

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

    • No possibility of.

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

    • Too impracticable or unlikely to merit discussion.

      • ‘The songwriters all seem so elated with the arrangement that a studio album may not be out of the question.’
      • ‘During his illness Colm was never able to leave the house and going to school was out of the question for him.’
      • ‘Keeping the child was out of the question, and not just because it was an era when unwanted pregnancies were scandals.’
      • ‘The idea that we somehow want to limit our trade with Mexico 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.’
      • ‘Games that involved any running were completely out of the question.’
      • ‘Stretching is just about possible; touching the toes is out of the question.’
      • ‘Wearing them in public was completely out of the question, of course.’
      • ‘Marriage to such a man with so little regard for the subtleties of English, she intimated, was out of the question.’
      • ‘A casino is out of the question, as are any other new forms of gambling.’
      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.

      • ‘The Hansard record clearly shows that the Deputy Speaker had not 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.’
      • ‘Under provincial legislation, a petition with enough signatures can force city council to put the question on a plebiscite.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘I have already put the question and the vote has been taken.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I just say that I am required to put the question.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

question

/ˈkwɛstʃ(ə)n/