Ques"tion (?), n. [F., fr. L.
quaestio, fr. quaerere, quaesitum, to seek for,
ask, inquire. See Quest, n.]
1. The act of asking; interrogation; inquiry; as,
to examine by question and answer.
2. Discussion; debate; hence, objection;
dispute; doubt; as, the story is true beyond question; he
obeyed without question.
There arose a question between some of John's
disciples and the Jews about purifying. John iii.
It is to be to question, whether it be lawful
for Christian princes to make an invasive war simply for the
propagation of the faith. Bacon.
3. Examination with reference to a decisive
result; investigation; specifically, a judicial or official
investigation; also, examination under torture.
He that was in question for the robbery.
The Scottish privy council had power to put state prisoners to the
4. That which is asked; inquiry;
But this question asked
Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain ?
5. Hence, a subject of investigation,
examination, or debate; theme of inquiry; matter to be inquired into;
as, a delicate or doubtful question.
6. Talk; conversation; speech; speech.
In question, in debate; in the course of
examination or discussion; as, the matter or point in
question. -- Leading question. See
under Leading. -- Out of question,
unquestionably. "Out of question, 't is Maria's hand."
Shak. -- Out of the question. See under
Out. -- Past question, beyond
question; certainly; undoubtedly; unquestionably. --
Previous question, a question put to a
parliamentary assembly upon the motion of a member, in order to
ascertain whether it is the will of the body to vote at once, without
further debate, on the subject under consideration. The form of
the question is: "Shall the main question be now put?" If the vote is
in the affirmative, the matter before the body must be voted upon as
it then stands, without further general debate or the submission of
new amendments. In the House of Representatives of the United States,
and generally in America, a negative decision operates to keep the
business before the body as if the motion had not been made; but in
the English Parliament, it operates to postpone consideration for the
day, and until the subject may be again introduced. In American
practice, the object of the motion is to hasten action, and it is made
by a friend of the measure. In English practice, the object is to get
rid of the subject for the time being, and the motion is made with a
purpose of voting against it. Cushing. -- To beg the
question. See under Beg. -- To the
question, to the point in dispute; to the real matter
Syn. -- Point; topic; subject.
Ques"tion, v. i. [imp. & p.
p. Questioned (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Questioning.] [Cf. F. questionner. See Question,
n.] 1. To ask questions; to
He that questioneth much shall learn
2. To argue; to converse; to dispute.
I pray you, think you question with the
Ques"tion, v. t. 1.
To inquire of by asking questions; to examine by interrogatories;
as, to question a witness.
2. To doubt of; to be uncertain of; to
And most we question what we most
3. To raise a question about; to call in
question; to make objection to. "But have power and right to
question thy bold entrance on this place." Milton.
4. To talk to; to converse with.
With many holiday and lady terms he questioned
Syn. -- To ask; interrogate; catechise; doubt; controvert;
dispute. -- Question, Inquire, Interrogate. To inquire is
merely to ask for information, and implies no authority in the one who
asks. To interrogate is to put repeated questions in a formal
or systematic fashion to elicit some particular fact or facts. To
question has a wider sense than to interrogate, and
often implies an attitude of distrust or opposition on the part of the