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’
    • ‘I must however add a few words regarding how the question is to be approached and answered.’
    • ‘Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word.’
    • ‘Here is some background information that may help answer the questions.’
    • ‘Leaflets will be available giving up to date information and questions can be answered.’
    • ‘Ask questions to elicit answers that will show you if this is a person you want treating your growing teen.’
    • ‘Staff from the council offices will take questions and information will be available about council services.’
    • ‘Certainly, a Minister cannot dodge a question by questioning the word of a member.’
    • ‘They refuse to answer questions adequately; they refuse to provide detailed information.’
    • ‘The chapter ends by providing common questions and answers about computer consulting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The major challenge for the project group was to reach all staff members with information and answer their questions.’
    • ‘They want all information relevant to their question so they can formulate an answer.’
    • ‘Perhaps the best way to put this is simply to say it exactly as the question is worded.’
    • ‘I believe that only he would have the information to answer the questions that I would pose.’
    • ‘It also implies that a computer can never be programmed to answer all mathematical questions.’
    • ‘He now refuses to speak to Swedish journalists and he chooses his words carefully when answering questions.’
    • ‘A doctor or nurse went on each visit to answer any questions and give health information.’
    • ‘Interested parents are invited to come along to the meeting this evening to ask questions and gather information.’
    • ‘Curiously, you might not actually perceive this as a question designed to elicit information.’
    enquiry, query
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A doubt about the truth or validity of something.
      ‘there is no question that America faces the threat of Balkanization’
      • ‘If you have questions or doubts about the paint, have your local paint store check it for you.’
      • ‘It also raises questions about controls at the company's head office to enforce common standards across the group’
      • ‘It left Bradford coach Brian Noble fuming and many others raising questions about the validity of the player's actions.’
      • ‘For some the confidence of adolescence is replaced with questions and doubt, marking the transition to adulthood.’
      • ‘I will return to the question of scientific validity at the end of my reply.’
      • ‘However, the question of the validity of soft dollars was not a debatable matter until recently.’
      • ‘She was not prepared to give even the benefit of the doubt over the question of the mob's fighting prowess.’
      • ‘This would raise even more questions about the validity of the use of an MLAT, and the Home Office's involvement in it.’
      • ‘It also raises questions about the justification for this omissions liability, and whether citizens have fair warning of it.’
      • ‘Yet this must surely raise questions over the validity of the prize itself.’
      • ‘He was always certain that when he met the right woman there would be no lingering doubts or questions.’
      • ‘No question of the validity of a law made by the Parliament arises in these proceedings.’
      • ‘It was the seventh time Harrington had finished second that season and naturally his mind screamed with questions and doubts.’
      • ‘Will his violation raise questions about the validity of his case for a spot in the Hall of Fame some day?’
      • ‘Two threads in the literature raise important questions about their validity.’
      • ‘At that time we had a lot of questions as to the validity of that information.’
      • ‘There are also some questions over the validity of the Lancet study in the case of measuring casualties in Iraq.’
      doubt, dispute, argument, debate, uncertainty, dubiousness, controversy, reservation
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 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.’
      • ‘It begins at the end and ends at the beginning and is, without question, entertaining and moving.’
      • ‘Almost all of what is left of this wonderful railway is in deep cuttings and this will attract undesirables without question.’
      • ‘Hal Sutton's US team was simply never in the contest, as this DVD proves beyond question.’
      • ‘Let me assure all concerned that any rainbow trout the size of salmon in this country are, without question, farmed.’
      • ‘Their technical abilities have always been beyond question, but it takes more that pure skill to make a ballet company.’
      • ‘But we carry that burden and continue to serve to the best of our ability and go forth without question.’
      • ‘But I also believe that that support should not be given without question in all circumstances.’
      • ‘The medical benefits of research on primates are beyond 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.’
      • ‘If Nelson had lost Britain would have been invaded, without question.’
      • ‘The compilations always, without question, included his preamble to the track and his following comments.’
      • ‘Throughout her career, her commitment was never in doubt and her courage beyond question.’
      • ‘If he told one of us to do something we did it without question.’
      • ‘There is simply no Archimedean point on which we can stand and make statements that 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘George Harrison will be remembered, beyond question, on his own terms, as a quiet man meeting a quiet end.’
      • ‘That we need a strong Army to maintain our national stability and sovereignty is also beyond question.’
      • ‘He is without question of that immortal company of artists who make all of our strivings less petty, more worth while.’
      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
    3. 1.3 A matter forming the basis of a problem requiring resolution.
      ‘we have kept an eye on the question of political authority’
      • ‘That is why the political questions we are discussing today are so significant.’
      • ‘He asked for subsequent parish council meetings to discuss the question of lack of support from Bradford Council.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, key questions remain unanswered: How much pressure can Bangalore roads take?’
      • ‘Morgan resolved an important question relating to the interpretation of Title VII, the central federal anti-discrimination statute.’
      • ‘There is no doubt the moral question of how to balance relative evils in this case is a very difficult one.’
      • ‘One of them was an article authored by Mahatma Gandhi, discussing the minority question.’
      • ‘The film-makers were asked to work on the question of conflict and resolution between communities.’
      • ‘Our discussion will consider questions of rights, individual freedom, harm, and conceptions of the good life.’
      • ‘Such questions of moral validity, he continues, are best left in the domain of religion.’
      • ‘This scenario no doubt raises questions as to whether it is morally right for a teacher to date a pupil.’
      • ‘This raises a number of questions which no doubt The Register's beloved readers will be pleased to weigh in on.’
      • ‘In Question Time Mark Latham wanted to focus on the question of truth in government.’
      • ‘Still ahead here, is it a question of states' rights, or is it a violation of civil rights?’
      • ‘The validity issue raises questions about whether we are measuring the appropriate things in the final examination.’
      • ‘But key questions remain unanswered following the case, about the legal protection available to those making claims of abuse.’
      • ‘The first of these, with Pico Iyer as moderator, discussed questions of national identity.’
      • ‘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
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    4. 1.4 A matter or concern depending on or involving a specified condition or thing.
      ‘it was not simply a question of age and hierarchy’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All songs have meaning to someone, it's more a question of subject matter.’
      • ‘That has to be a question of opinion rather than fact, so it depends on what you make of the evidence.’
      • ‘A crucial meeting was due to take place today to discuss four vital questions on the future of the Metrolink.’
      • ‘At the end of this month's debate in Spain, discussion turned to the question of patronage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 second issue which we have not discussed here is the question of the housing market.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is only a question of getting the farmers together and educating them.’
      • ‘He said the project was still on the cards as far as North Yorkshire Police were concerned, but it was a question of money.’
      • ‘Was it a question of lost spontaneity, or was it a matter of simply not feeling everything connect like it could?’
      • ‘Identity is not a matter of physical or moral features, it is a question of space.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In short, this study reminds us that power is not so much a matter of discourse as a question of turf.’
      • ‘Epstein is quite right in insisting that this issue must be dealt with as a question of principle.’
      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


  • 1Ask questions of (someone), especially in an official context.

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

    • Raise an issue for further consideration or discussion.

      ‘technology had brought into question the whole future of work’
      • ‘Then even the integrity of the final narrator is brought into question by yet another revelation.’
      • ‘Massive write downs under the smokescreen of a new CEO will only demonstrate the old guard's failings and bring their tenure into question.’
      • ‘Stunned silence for a few moments and then all hell let loose as my lineage was brought into question by a few ‘concerned’ supporters.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the mid-1970s this theory was brought into question by three separate lines of evidence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While that move was brought into question by several people, what has finally emerged is worse!’
      • ‘If researchers are willing to disseminate misleading claims then their integrity is brought 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.’
  • come into question

    • Become an issue for further consideration or discussion.

      ‘our Sunday Trading laws have come into question’
      • ‘After all, the more unkind the times, the more the survival of the culture itself comes into question.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘First, the legitimacy of the sitting government comes into question, because that legitimacy rests on the legitimacy of the elections that define it.’
      • ‘Suddenly, its authorship comes into question, as do the motives of those left behind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Security Council will have to take this extremely seriously, indeed, otherwise its own future will come into question.’
  • in question

    • 1Being considered or discussed.

      ‘on the day in question, there were several serious emergencies’
      • ‘You could phone the person in question and explain your worries and fears.’
      • ‘Having seen the picture in question, it would certainly seem as though the shape is that of a skull.’
      • ‘I would think that the woman in question has severe emotional issues that should be dealt with.’
      • ‘Furthermore it's equally hard to believe that the song in question is that old.’
      • ‘The Defendant has made considerable efforts to identify the individuals in question.’
      • ‘It seems to me that part of the dilemma you are discussing herein is not a function of the art in question per se.’
      • ‘If it has evidence of an infringement, it has to issue a reasoned opinion to the state in question.’
      • ‘There is no doubt that many of the compounds in question were inactive; others less so.’
      • ‘The land in question enjoys a prime location on one of the town's major access routes.’
      • ‘The policy in question is less than a year old and this is the first election for which it has been in place.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That was no doubt the case of the minister whose expenses were in question in the case of Jardine v Gillespie.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then his positioning was in question as sub Andy Sullivan scored Whyteleafe's third.’
      • ‘Their patriotism, more in evidence then than it is today, was not in question.’
      • ‘In the past we did not take sufficient action quick enough for those whose performance was in question.’
  • no question of

    • No possibility of.

      • ‘They were playing like men possessed and there was no question of this Charlton side being intimidated by United.’
      • ‘Mr Devlin insists the public's concerns have been taken on board and that there is no question of overlooking them.’
      • ‘Given the huge success of the original operation, there was no question of phasing out the dotcom offerings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While the St Peter's Way camera was already yellow, there was no question of moving it - so the sign had to go.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So, once again there is no question of when the expansion took place, it is an eternal reality.’
      • ‘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.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘During his illness Colm was never able to leave the house and going to school was out of the question for him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The closest railhead was hundreds of miles away and, in those early days of aviation, an air drop was 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.’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Immigration Minister says Australia is not obliged to follow the UN request, prompting Senator Nettle to put the question again.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘France and The Netherlands would have to re-run their referenda before some countries will risk putting the question to the people.’
  • question of fact

    • An issue to be decided by a jury.

      • ‘Whether a plaintiff is guilty of contributory negligence is a question of fact.’
      • ‘Whether a transaction was brought about by the exercise of undue influence is a question of fact.’
      • ‘What constitutes a reasonable use of land is a question of fact, and is decided by weighing up the various factors considered below.’
      • ‘Passing off is essentially a question of fact: does the defendant in fact make a false representation as to the origin of this goods by using the mark in suit?’
      • ‘He considered that the case deserved a full hearing in this court, even though the issue of transfer is usually a question of fact which is unappealable.’
      • ‘The second point involves a question of fact, which was properly left to the jury.’
      • ‘There is a succession of cases on offences of causing pollution in which judges have maintained that causation is a question of fact for the jury or magistrates.’
      • ‘It has always been held that they are entitled to do it so long as they make it clear that the question of fact is for the jury.’
      • ‘In particular, the issue of internal flight would appear to be a question of fact, not of law.’
      • ‘Whether refusal on such grounds was reasonable must, however, be decided as a question of fact on the circumstances of each case.’
  • question of law

    • An issue to be decided by a judge.

      • ‘It would be better, in a developing area of the law, to let the matter go to trial so that the question of law could be decided in the light of actual facts.’
      • ‘This is an appeal under the Arbitration Act solely on a question of law on a preliminary issue in an arbitration.’
      • ‘Of relevance in this motion is the extent to which a motions judge can determine a question of law.’
      • ‘The Magistrates posed the following question of law for the court.’
      • ‘It is a question of law for the judge whether a person is to be regarded as the company or simply its employee or agent.’
      • ‘However, it might be argued that this question of proportionality is decided as a question of law, just as under the ultra vires principle.’
      • ‘Now what would you ask this Court to decide, as a question of law?’
      • ‘This matter has come to this Court on a preliminary question of law without any issue of purpose or any evidence or information as to the value of the estate.’
      • ‘It is a question of law whether the Defendant was retained and whether he was professionally negligent thereby causing damages to the Plaintiff.’
      • ‘Determination of public figure status is a question of law, not fact.’


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