Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

WORD ORIGIN

early 13c., "philosophical or theological problem;" early 14c. as "utterance meant to elicit an answer or discussion," also as "a difficulty, a doubt," from Anglo-French questiun, Old French question "question, difficulty, problem; legal inquest, interrogation, torture," from Latin quaestionem (nominative quaestio) "a seeking, a questioning, inquiry, examining, judicial investigation," noun of action from past participle stem of quaerere "ask, seek" (see query (v.)).

No question "undoubtedly" is from mid-15c; no questions asked "accountability not required" is from 1879 (especially in newspaper advertisements seeking the return of something lost or stolen). Question mark is from 1849, sometimes also question stop (1862); figurative use is from 1869. To be out of the question (c.1700) is to be not pertinent to the subject, hence "not to be considered."

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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.