doubt(redirected from doubts)
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plant a/the seed of doubt (in someone's mind)
To cause someone to have doubts, worries, or concerns (about something); to introduce someone to a doubtful or worrisome idea. The candidate was doing very well in the polls six months ago, but it seems that this smear campaign has been effective in planting a seed of doubt in the minds of voters. Recent economic turbulence in the Eurozone has planted the seed of doubt about the strength of the economy's recovery. Every time you act suspiciously like that, it plants a seed of doubt in my mind about your fidelity.
sow a/the seed of doubt (in someone's mind)
To cause someone to have doubts, worries, or concerns (about something); to introduce someone to a doubtful or worrisome idea. The candidate was doing very well in the polls six months ago, but it seems that this smear campaign has been effective in sowing a seed of doubt in the minds of voters. Recent economic turbulence in the Eurozone has sown the seed of doubt about the strength of the economy's recovery. Jim's suspicious behavior sowed a seed of doubt in Jenny's mind about his fidelity.
A skeptic. A reference to the New Testament story about the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he saw him in person. Lisa's husband was a real doubting Thomas when she told him she'd won the lottery. He demanded to check the ticket himself.
Uncertain; not concrete or definitive. If you keep missing meetings, your future with this company will be in doubt.
room for doubt
A chance that something might not be as straight-forward or true as it seems. Because there is still room for doubt in this case, I think we need to review the facts before even considering our verdict.
the benefit of the doubt
The withholding of judgment so as to retain a favorable or at least neutral opinion of someone or something when the full information about the subject is not yet available. You're my sister! Can't you give me the benefit of the doubt, instead of believing the worst about me? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt before we start accusing him. There may be a good explanation.
beyond a reasonable doubt
With confidence; without any doubt. This phrase is most commonly heard in legal proceedings. The jury acquitted him because they could not say that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
beyond a/the shadow of a doubt
With confidence; without any doubt. This photo now proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my client is innocent. I barely remember leaving the office last night, so I can't say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I set the alarm before I left.
cast doubt on (someone or something)
To cause someone or something to be viewed with doubt, skepticism, or uncertainty. I considered Walt for the promotion, but his constant lateness soon cast doubt on that decision. Such a significant error really cast doubt on all of the experiment's results.
give (someone or something) the benefit of the doubt
To retain a favorable or at least neutral opinion of someone or something until the full information about the subject is available. You're my sister! Can't you give me the benefit of the doubt, instead of believing the worst about me right away? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt before we start accusing him. There may be a good explanation for the missing money.
no doubt about it
What has been said is definitely true. There's no doubt about it—it is definitely the best pizzeria in town. A: "Do you think we'll get to see some wildlife?" B: "No doubt about it! We're guaranteed to see some megafauna."
benefit of the doubt
a judgment in one's favor when the evidence is neither for one nor against one. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) I was right between a B and an A. I got the benefit of the doubt—an A. I thought I should have had the benefit of the doubt, but the judge made me pay a fine.
beyond a reasonable doubt
almost without any doubt. (A legal phrase.) The jury decided beyond a reasonable doubt that she had committed the crime. He was also found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
cast doubt(s) (on someone or something)
to cause someone or something to be doubted. The police cast doubt on my story. How can they cast doubt? They haven't looked into it yet. The city council cast doubt on John and his plan.
someone who will not easily believe something without strong proof or evidence. (Can be said of a man or a woman. From the biblical account of the apostle Thomas, who would not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he actually touched the risen Christ.) Mary won't believe that I have a dog until she sees it. She's such a doubting Thomas.
have doubts about someone or something
to have questions or suspicions about someone or something. I have doubts about Alice and whether she can do it. We have no doubts about the usefulness of this project.
I doubt it.
I do not think so. Tom: Think it will rain today? Sue: I doubt it. Sally: Think you'll go to New York? Mary: I doubt it.
I doubt that.
I do not believe that something is so. Bob: I'll be there exactly on time. Sue: I doubt that. John: Fred says he can't come to work because he's sick. Jane: I doubt that.
a transitional or interpretative phrase strengthening the rest of a previous sentence. Sue: Mary is giving this party for herself? Rachel: Yes. She'll expect us to bring gifts, no doubt. Mary: All this talk about war has my cousin very worried. Sue: No doubt. At his age, I don't wonder.
(There is) no doubt about it.
It cannot be doubted.; It is obvious. Jane: It's really cold today. Fred: No doubt about it! Sue: Things seems to be getting more and more expensive. Tom: There's no doubt about that. Look at the price of oranges!
without a doubt
a phrase expressing certainty or agreement; yes. John: This cheese is as hard as a rock. It must have been in the fridge for weeks. Fred: Without a doubt. Mary: Taxes will surely go up before I retire. Jane: Without a doubt!
without a shadow of a doubtand beyond the shadow of a doubt
without the smallest amount of doubt. I am certain that I am right, without a shadow of a doubt. I felt the man was guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt.
beyond a doubt
Also, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Certainly so, undoubtedly so, as in Beyond a doubt this is the best view of the valley. This phrase, along with the earlier without doubt (dating from c. 1300), asserts the truth of some statement. W.S. Gilbert's version, in The Gondoliers (1889), is: "Of that there is no manner of doubt-no probable, possible shadow of doubt-no possible doubt whatever." In this context shadow means "a trace or slight suggestion." Another variant is beyond a reasonable doubt. This phrase is often used in court when the judge instructs the jury that they must be convinced of the accused's guilt or innocence beyond a reasonable doubt; reasonable here means "logical and rational." Also see beyond question; no doubt.
cast doubt on
Cause something or someone to be questioned. For example, The prosecutor cast doubt on the wife's alibi. This idiom uses cast in the sense of "throw," a usage dating from the early 1200s.
One who is habitually doubtful. For example, He was a doubting Thomas about the coming merger, not believing it would ever happen. The term alludes to the disciple Thomas, who doubted Jesus's resurrection until he had first-hand evidence of it (John 20:24-29).
give the benefit of the doubt
Regard someone as innocent until proven otherwise; lean toward a favorable view of someone. For example, Let's give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she's right. [Mid-1800s]
1. Probably, most likely, as in No doubt you've heard the news about Mother. [Early 1300s]
2. Also, without doubt or a doubt . Certainly, without question, as in He's guilty, no doubt, but he doesn't deserve such a long sentence, or That basketball player is without doubt the tallest man I've ever seen. [Early 1300s] Also see beyond a doubt.
Also, without a doubt. See no doubt.
give someone the benefit of the doubt
1. If you give someone the benefit of the doubt, you decide to believe that what they are saying is honest, even though it is possible that they are not telling the truth. As to whether she deliberately lied or got the facts wrong, I suppose we could give her the benefit of the doubt.
2. If you give someone the benefit of the doubt, you decide to believe that what they are doing is right, even though it is possible that they are doing something wrong. I am basically a trusting person. I make it a practice to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
benefit of the doubt
A favorable judgment granted in the absence of full evidence.