doubt
Pronunciation
Verb

doubt (doubts, present participle doubting; past and past participle doubted)

  1. (ambitransitive) To be undecided about; to lack#Verb|lack confidence in; to disbelieve, to question#Verb|question.
    Synonyms: distrust, mistrust
    He doubted that was really what you meant.
    • 1579, Immeritô [pseudonym; Edmund Spenser], “The Generall Argument of the Whole Booke ↗”, in The Shepheardes Calender: […], London: Printed by Hugh Singleton, […], OCLC 606515406 ↗; republished as The Shepheardes Calender, […], imprinted at London: By Iohn Wolfe for Iohn Harrison the yonger, […], 1586, OCLC 837880809 ↗:
      For they be not termed Eclogues, but Aeglogues, which ſentence this author very well obſerving, vpon good iudgement, though in deede few Goteheards haue to doe herein, neuertheleſſe doubteth not to call them by the vſed and beſt knowne name.
    • 1590, Philippe Sidnei [i.e., Philip Sidney], “[The Second Booke] Chapter 21”, in Fulke Greville, Matthew Gwinne, and John Florio, editors, The Covntesse of Pembrokes Arcadia [The New Arcadia], London: Printed [by John Windet] for William Ponsonbie, OCLC 801077108 ↗; republished in Albert Feuillerat, editor, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia (Cambridge English Classics: The Complete Works of Sir Philip Sidney; I), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: At the University Press, 1912, OCLC 318419127 ↗, page 284 ↗:
      For never (I thinke) was there any woman, that with more unremovable determinatiõ gave her selfe to the coũcell of Love, after she had once set before her mind the worthines of your cousin Amphialus; & yet is nether her wisdome doubted of, nor honour blemished.
    • 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: […], London: Printed for Nath[aniel] Ponder […], OCLC 228725984 ↗; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress as Originally Published by John Bunyan: Being a Fac-simile Reproduction of the First Edition, London: Elliot Stock […], 1875, OCLC 222146756 ↗, page 33 ↗:
      He that will enter in muſt firſt without / Stand knocking at the Gate, nor need he doubt / That is a knocker but to enter in; / For God can love him, and forgive his ſin.
    • 1681, John Dryden, The Spanish Fryar: Or, the Double Discovery. […], London: Printed for Richard Tonson and Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 6484883 ↗, Act III, page 39 ↗:
      Have I not manag'd my contrivance well, / To try your Love and make you doubt of mine?
  2. (transitive, archaic) To harbour#Verb|harbour suspicion about; suspect#Verb|suspect.
    • 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: […], London: Printed for Nath[aniel] Ponder […], OCLC 228725984 ↗; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas, […], 1928, OCLC 5190338 ↗, page 40 ↗:
      I walk by the Rule of my Maſter, you walk by the rude working of your fancies. You are counted thieves already, by the Lord of the way; therefore, I doubt you will not be found true men at the end of the way.
    • 1815, Walter Scott, “Notes to Canto Second”, in The Lord of the Isles, a Poem, Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co. […]; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown; by James Ballantyne and Co., […], OCLC 25523028 ↗, note VIII, page xlviii ↗:
      Rushing to the door of the church, [Robert the] Bruce met two powerful barons, [Roger de] Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, and James de Lindsay, who eagerly asked him what tidings? "Bad tidings," answered Bruce, "I doubt I have slain [John] Comyn." "Doubtest thou?" said Kirkpatrick, "I make sicker" (i.e. sure.) With these words, he and Lindsay rushed into the church, and dispatched the wounded Comyn.
  3. (transitive, archaic) To anticipate with dread#Noun|dread or fear#Noun|fear; to apprehend.
    • 1810, Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake; a Poem, Edinburgh: Printed [by James Ballantyne and Co.] for John Ballantyne and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, and William Miller, OCLC 6632529 ↗, canto V (The Combat), stanza XI, page 196 ↗:
      Fear naught—nay, that I need not say— / But—doubt not aught from mine array. / Thou art my guest;—I pledged my word / As far as Coilantogle ford: [...]
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To fill#Verb|fill with fear; to affright.
    • c. 1613 (first performance), John Fletcher, “The Tragedie of Bonduca”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act I, scene ii, page 51 ↗, column 1:
      I'll tell ye all my fears, one ſingle valour, / the vertues of the valiant Caratach / more doubts me then all Britain: [...]
  5. (ambitransitive, obsolete) To dread#Verb|dread, to fear#Verb|fear.
    • 1579, Immeritô [pseudonym; Edmund Spenser], “December. Aegloga Duodecima.”, in The Shepheardes Calender: […], London: Printed by Hugh Singleton, […], OCLC 606515406 ↗; republished as The Shepheardes Calender, […], imprinted at London: By Iohn Wolfe for Iohn Harrison the yonger, […], 1586, OCLC 837880809 ↗, folio 49, recto ↗:
      whilom#English|Whilome in youth, when flowred my ioyfull ſpring, / Like ſwallow ſwift I wandred here and there: / For heat of heedleſſe luſt me ſo did ſting, / That I of doubted daunger had no feare.
    • c. 1599–1602, William Shake-speare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: […] (First Quarto), London: Printed [by Valentine Simmes] for N[icholas] L[ing] and Iohn Trundell, published 1603, OCLC 84758312 ↗, [Act I, scene ii] ↗:
      Well, all's not well. I doubt some foule play, [...]
    • 1819 July 14, [Lord Byron], Don Juan, London: Printed by Thomas Davison, […], OCLC 560103767 ↗, canto I, stanza CLXXXVI, page 96 ↗:
      At last, as they more faintly wrestling lay, / Juan contrived to give an awkward blow, / And then his only garment quite gave way; / He fled, like Joseph, leaving it; but there, / I doubt, all likeness ends between the pair.
    • 1861, George Eliot [pseudonym; Mary Ann Evans], chapter XXI, in Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 457563123 ↗, part II, page 357 ↗:
      I shall never know whether they got at the truth o' the robbery, nor whether Mr Paston could ha' given me any light about the drawing o' the lots. It's dark to me, Mrs Winthrop, that is; I doubt it'll be dark to the last.
Conjugation