- doubtful; marked by or occasioning doubt: a dubious reply.
- of doubtful quality or propriety; questionable: a dubious compliment; a dubious transaction.
- of uncertain outcome: in dubious battle.
- wavering or hesitating in opinion; inclined to doubt.
Origin of dubious
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dubious
Domestically, the prime minister maintains the dubious line that he is the only man who can keep the still-fragile peace.Cambodia’s Smoke-and-Mirrors Democracy
January 9, 2015
Krivov was arrested in October 2012, on the dubious charges of participation in “mass riots.”Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015
December 25, 2014
We kindly inform these little jokers with the dubious jokes that they risk judicial proceedings they may not find funny at all.French Freak-Out Over Creepy Clowns
October 31, 2014
The Louisiana university has turned into a nanny state, issuing a campus smoking ban of dubious legality.The University Of New Orleans’ Cigarette Ban Is Total BS
October 21, 2014
The British detectives have since interviewed countless witnesses and cleared a number of dubious suspects in the case.Does a Perv Know Maddie McCann’s Fate?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 16, 2014
"I don't know exactly," replied the doctor in a dubious tone.Weighed and Wanting
"Why—I've never worn a low dress—not really low," I said, longing but dubious.The Bacillus of Beauty
Better that he had been still silent, than speak that dubious, indecisive "Y—es."The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
Mr. Cruncher was soothed, but shook his head in a dubious and moral way.A Tale of Two Cities
They liked him, but they were dubious of his right to represent the Tory spirit.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
- marked by or causing doubta dubious reply
- unsettled in mind; uncertain; doubtful
- of doubtful quality; untrustworthya dubious reputation
- not certain in outcome
Word Origin and History for dubious
1540s, from Latin dubiosus "doubtful," from dubium "doubt," neuter of dubius "vacillating, moving two ways, fluctuating;" figuratively "wavering in opinion, doubting, doubtful," from duo "two" (see two), with a sense of "of two minds, undecided between two things." Old English also used tweo "two" to mean "doubt." Cf. doubt (v.). Related: Dubiously; dubiousness.