Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

dubious

[doo-bee-uh s, dyoo-] /ˈdu bi əs, ˈdyu-/
adjective
1.
doubtful; marked by or occasioning doubt:
a dubious reply.
2.
of doubtful quality or propriety; questionable:
a dubious compliment; a dubious transaction.
3.
of uncertain outcome:
in dubious battle.
4.
wavering or hesitating in opinion; inclined to doubt.
Origin of dubious
1540-1550
1540-50; < Latin dubius; see -ous
Related forms
dubiously, adverb
dubiousness, noun
superdubious, adjective
superdubiously, adverb
superdubiousness, noun
undubious, adjective
undubiously, adverb
undubiousness, noun
Synonyms
1. equivocal, ambiguous, obscure, unclear. 4. undecided, uncertain, hesitant, fluctuating.
Synonym Study
4. See doubtful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dubious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I don't know exactly," replied the doctor in a dubious tone.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • "Why—I've never worn a low dress—not really low," I said, longing but dubious.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • 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 Charles Dickens
  • They liked him, but they were dubious of his right to represent the Tory spirit.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
British Dictionary definitions for dubious

dubious

/ˈdjuːbɪəs/
adjective
1.
marked by or causing doubt: a dubious reply
2.
unsettled in mind; uncertain; doubtful
3.
of doubtful quality; untrustworthy: a dubious reputation
4.
not certain in outcome
Derived Forms
dubiously, adverb
dubiousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dubius wavering
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dubious
adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for dubious

Word Value for dubious

10
13
Scrabble Words With Friends