AskDefine | Define opinion

Dictionary Definition



1 a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty; "my opinion differs from yours"; "what are your thoughts on Haiti?" [syn: sentiment, persuasion, view, thought]
2 a belief or sentiment shared by most people; the voice of the people; "he asked for a poll of public opinion" [syn: public opinion, popular opinion, vox populi]
3 a message expressing a belief about something; the expression of a belief that is held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof; "his opinions appeared frequently on the editorial page" [syn: view]
4 the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision; "opinions are usually written by a single judge" [syn: legal opinion, judgment, judgement]
5 the reason for a court's judgment (as opposed to the decision itself) [syn: ruling]
6 a vague idea in which some confidence is placed; "his impression of her was favorable"; "what are your feelings about the crisis?"; "it strengthened my belief in his sincerity"; "I had a feeling that she was lying" [syn: impression, feeling, belief, notion]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Anglo-Norman / Middle French opinion, from opinio, from opinari ‘opine’.


  • /əˈpɪnjən/


  1. A subjective thought that a person has formed about a topic or issue.



subjective thought


  1. To have or express as an opinion.
    • 1658: But if (as some opinion) King Ahasuerus were Artaxerxes Mnemon [...], our magnified Cyrus was his second Brother — Sir Thomas Browne, The Graden of Cyrus (Folio Society 2007, p. 166)


To have or express as an opinion

Extensive Definition

An opinion is a person's ideas and thoughts towards something. It is an assessment, judgment or evaluation of something. An opinion is not a fact, because opinions are either not falsifiable, or the opinion has not been proven or verified. If it later becomes proven or verified, it is no longer an opinion, but a fact.
In economics, philosophy, or other social sciences, analysis based on opinions is referred to as normative analysis (what ought to be), as opposed to positive analysis, which is based on scientific observation (what materially is).
Historically, the distinction of proven knowledge and opinion was articulated by some Ancient Greek philosophers. Plato's analogy of the divided line is a well-known illustration of the distinction between knowledge and opinion.
Robert Webb, half of the Mitchell and Webb comedy duo, identified the phenomenon of idle opinion. Mitchell and Webb had come in for considerable criticism in the UK for their Apple Mac commercials, which contrasted the Mac with the PC. Webb noted that the vast bulk of the criticism happened during office hours, when people should have been doing their jobs. After 5pm each day, the criticism in blogs and Web chatrooms dried up. His conclusion is that idle opinion consists of views that people don't hold strongly, or indeed that they may not hold the view at all. 'Critics' just want to be part of a discussion, rather than do their daily grind.
opinion in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Меркаваньне
opinion in German: Meinung
opinion in Spanish: Opinión (Periodismo)
opinion in Esperanto: Opinio
opinion in French: Opinion
opinion in Croatian: Sud (logika)
opinion in Ido: Opiniono
opinion in Italian: Opinione
opinion in Hungarian: Vélemény
opinion in Polish: Opinia (pogląd)
opinion in Portuguese: Opinião
opinion in Romanian: Opinie
opinion in Sicilian: Opinioni
opinion in Simple English: Opinion
opinion in Finnish: Mielipide
opinion in Yiddish: מיינונג

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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