- of uncertain outcome or result.
- admitting of or causing doubt; uncertain; ambiguous.
- unsettled in opinion or belief; undecided; hesitating.
- of equivocal or questionable character: His tactics are highly doubtful.
Origin of doubtful
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. undetermined, unsettled, indecisive, dubious, problematic. 2. unsure, indeterminate. 3. irresolute, vacillating, hesitant. 4. shady.
3. Doubtful, dubious, incredulous, skeptical imply reluctance or unwillingness to be convinced. To be doubtful about something is to feel that it is open to question or that more evidence is needed to prove it: to be doubtful about the statements of witnesses. Dubious implies vacillation, unsureness, or suspicion: dubious about suggested methods of manufacture. Incredulous means unwilling or reluctant to believe: incredulous at the good news. Skeptical implies a general disposition to doubt or question: skeptical of human progress.
1, 2. certain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for doubtfully
For an instant, he hesitated while the others regarded him doubtfully.Within the Law
Now, every man who was a handful or two short of his crop began to look at us doubtfully.The Trail Book
Jethro looked at her doubtfully, and then, as she smiled at him, he smiled also.Tiverton Tales
Little Dorrit looked at him doubtfully, and not without alarm. 'Little Dorrit
The guard watched us doubtfully, and angrily, but he let us pass.Priestess of the Flame
Sewell Peaslee Wright
- unlikely; improbable
- characterized by or causing doubt; uncertaina doubtful answer
- unsettled; unresolved
- of questionable reputation or morality
- having reservations or misgivings
- (of a sportsperson) not likely to be fit enough to play or take part
- a person who is undecided or uncertain about an issue
- a sportsperson who is not likely to be fit enough to play or take part
It was formerly considered correct to use whether after doubtful (it is doubtful whether he will come), but now if and that are also acceptable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for doubtfully
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper