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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An opinion is a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. An opinion may be supported by an argument, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented. However, it can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another by analysing the supporting arguments. [1]

An opinion may be the result of a person's perspective, understanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. In casual use, the term opinion may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact-based beliefs.



In economics, other social sciences and philosophy, analysis based on opinion is referred to as normative analysis (what ought to be), as opposed to positive analysis, which is based on scientific observation (what materially is or is experimentally demonstrable).

Historically, the distinction of demonstrated knowledge and opinion was articulated by Ancient Greek philosophers. Today Plato's analogy of the divided line is a well-known illustration of the distinction between knowledge and opinion, or knowledge and belief, in customary terminology of contemporary philosophy. Opinions can be persuasive, but only the assertions they are based on can be said to be true or false.

Collective and Professional Opinions

The public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the population. Public opinion can also be defined as the complex collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views.

A 'Scientific opinion' is any opinion formed via the scientific method, and so is necessarily evidence backed. A scientific opinion which represents the formally-agreed consensus of a scientific body or establishment, often takes the form of a published position paper citing the research producing the Scientific evidence upon which the opinion is based. 'The Scientific Opinion' can be compared to 'the public opinion' and means the complex collection of the opinions of many different scientific organizations and entities, and also the opinions of scientists undertaking scientific research in the relevant field.

A Legal opinion or Closing Opinion is a type of professional opinion, usually contained in a formal legal opinion letter, given by an attorney to a client or a third party. Most legal opinions are given in connection with business transactions. The opinion expresses the attorney's professional judgment regarding the legal matters addressed. A legal opinion is not a guaranty that a court will reach any particular result.[2] However, a mistaken or incomplete legal opinion may be grounds for a professional malpractice claim against the attorney, pursuant to which the attorney may be required to pay the claimant damages incurred as a result of relying on the faulty opinion.

A Judicial opinion or Opinion of the Court is an opinion of a judge or group of judges that accompanies and explains an order or ruling in a controversy before the court, laying out the rationale and legal principles the court relied on in reaching its decision.[3] Judges in United States are usually required to provide a well-reasoned basis for their decisions and the contents of their judicial opinions may contain the grounds for appealing and reversing of their decision by a higher court.

An editorial opinion is the stated opinion of a newspaper or it's publisher, as conveyed on the editorial page.

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

An opinion is a person's ideas and thoughts towards something. It is an assessment, judgment or evaluation of something.



  • If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
  • The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
  • To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility. Its condemnation may be allowed to rest on this common argument, not the worse for being common.
  • I agree with no man's opinion. I have some of my own.
  • New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
  • Quot homines tot sententiae: suo quoque mos.
    As many opinions as there are men; each a law to himself.
    • Terence(c.195-159 BC), Phormio, 454
  • The world is governed much more by opinion than by laws. It is not the judgment of courts, but the moral judgment of individuals and masses of men, which is the wall of defense around property and life.
    • William Ellery Channing, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 440.
  • It is more true to say that our opinions depend upon our lives and habits than to say that our lives depend upon our opinions, which is only now and then true.


  • Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
    • Variant: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.
      • Quoted in Robert Sobel's review of Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies edited by Mark C. Carnes.
    • Variant: You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.


  • Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain, or freed a human soul.
  • Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God.
  • Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
  • The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause.
  • The only opinion that matters is one's own.
  • Opinions are like assholes; everyone's got one.
  • If I want your opinion, I will tell it to you.
  • Opinions should be formed with great caution, and changed with greater.
    • H.W. Shaw
  • Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
  • He who has no opinion of his own, but depends upon the opinion and taste of others, is a slave.
    • Klopstock
  • Any opinion will do to push the other fellow’s ego back into its shell!
    • Swami Raj
  • To maintain an opinion because it is thine, and not because it is true, is to prefer thyself above the truth.
    • Venning
  • We should always keep a corner of our heads open and free, that we may make room for the opinions of our friends. Let us have heart and head hospitality.
    • Joubert
  • No liberal man would impute a charge of unsteadiness to another for having changed his opinion.
  • It is not only arrogant, but it is profligate, for a man to disregard the world's opinion of himself.
  • Who observes not that the voice of the people, yea of that people that voiced themselves the people of God, did prosecute the God of all people, with one common voice, "He is worthy to die." I will not, therefore, ambitiously beg their voices for my preferment; nor weigh my worth in that uneven balance, in which a feather of opinion shall be moment enough to turn the scales and make a light piece go current, and a current piece seem light.
    • Arthur Warwick
  • In the minds of most men, the kingdom of opinion is divided into three territories,—the territory of yes, the territory of no, and a broad, unexplored middle ground of doubt.
  • The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion.
    • Lowell
  • Public opinion, though often formed upon a wrong basis, yet generally has a strong underlying sense of justice.
  • People with opinions just go around bothering each other.
  • People in supervising positions in investigation are supposed to give too much of their opinion and if they are wrong saying "sorry" is enough.
    • Nate River
  • Man tends to treat all his opinions as principles.
    • Herbert Agar
  • Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.
  • When I say “everybody says so,” I mean I say so.
    • Ed Howe

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Look up opinion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

OPINION (Lat. opinio, from opinari, to think), a term used loosely in ordinary speech for an idea or an explanation of facts which is regarded as being based on evidence which is good. but not conclusive. In logic it is used as a translation of Gr. Soa, which plays a prominent part in Greek philosophy as the opposite of knowledge (tort or ai Oeca). The distinction is drawn by Parmenides, who contrasts the sphere of truth or knowledge with that of opinion, which deals with mere appearance, error, not-being. So Plato places 56 a between a'lvOrives and Seavota, as dealing with phenomena contrasted with non-being and being respectively. Thus Plato confines opinion to that which is subject to change. Aristotle, retaining the same idea, assigns to opinion (especially in the Ethics) the sphere of things contingent, i.e. the future: hence opinion deals with that which is probable. More generally he uses popular opinion - that which is generally held to be true (30Keiv) - as the starting-point of an inquiry. In modern philosophy the term has been used for various conceptions all having much the same connotation. The absence of any universally acknowledged definition, especially such as would contrast "opinion" with "belief," "faith" and the like, deprives it of any status as a philosophic term.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also opinión



Most common English words: wind « drew « strength « #596: opinion » according » walked » office


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





opinion (plural opinions)

  1. A thought that a person has formed about a topic or issue.
    I would like to know your opinions on the new project.
    In my opinion, white chocolate is better than milk chocolate.
    Every man is a fool in some man's opinion.
    Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived. - Oscar Wilde

Derived terms

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to opinion

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to opinion (third-person singular simple present opinions, present participle opinioning, simple past and past participle opinioned)

  1. (transitive) 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)





opinion f. (plural opinions)

  1. opinion

Simple English

An opinion is something a person or a group of people think. "What is your opinion?" is like saying: "What do you think about it?"

The person's answer might start with: "In my opinion..........."

Sometimes companies try to find out what people think about something by asking a lot of people their opinion. This is called an "opinion poll". They might be trying to find out whether they think the government is good or bad or whether enough is being done about global warming.

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