What does the idiom "out of the question" mean?

out of the question is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression out of the question is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "out of the question"


The phrase 'out of the question' is an idiom that is used to indicate that something is not a possibility, or that it is not allowed or permitted. It conveys a sense of finality, or that the answer is a definite 'no'. It is often used as a polite way of refusing a request or suggestion.


The phrase 'out of the question' is thought to have originated in the late 17th century. It is derived from the Middle French phrase 'hors de question', which means 'beyond dispute'. The phrase was first used in English in the early 18th century and has been in popular use ever since.


The phrase 'out of the question' is most commonly used as a response to a question or suggestion. It is usually used to politely and firmly reject something, or to indicate that something is not a possibility. It can also be used to express surprise or disbelief. For example, if someone were to suggest that they could fly a plane, the response could be 'That's out of the question'.

Example Sentences

  • I was hoping you could lend me some money, but I guess that's out of the question.
  • Do you think I could get the job done by tomorrow? - That's out of the question; you'll need more time than that.
  • You want me to move to the other side of the country? That's out of the question!

The meanings of the words in the "out of the question" idiom

From Shakespeare to Social Media: The Evolution of English Idioms

English idioms have been around for centuries, with many originating from sources like literature, mythology, and everyday life. Shakespeare, for example, coined many phrases that are still used today, such as "break the ice" and "heart of gold." Over time, new idioms have emerged, with social media and popular culture providing rich sources of inspiration. For instance, the phrase "throwing shade" came into use in the 1990s thanks to ball culture, but has since been popularized by social media.


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