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

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does out of the question mean? In what situations is out of the question used?

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

Idioms with similar meaning

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom that means you shouldn't make assumptions about someone or something based solely on its appearance. In Japanese, the similar idiom is "Hana yori dango," which translates to "Dumplings rather than flowers." This idiom means that substance is more important than appearance.


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