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[kwes-chuh-nuh-buh l] /ˈkwɛs tʃə nə bəl/
of doubtful propriety, honesty, morality, respectability, etc.:
questionable activities; in questionable taste.
open to question or dispute; doubtful or uncertain:
a statement of questionable accuracy.
open to question as to being of the nature or value suggested:
a questionable privilege.
Origin of questionable
First recorded in 1580-90; question + -able
Related forms
questionableness, questionability, noun
questionably, adverb
2. debatable, disputable, controvertible, dubitable, dubious.
1. certain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for questionable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not Najma this questionable companion, but one as dear to Khalid.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • "I thought maybe he were a friend," said the stranger, with questionable veracity.

  • And which among the components of happiness and well-being can possibly be questionable?

    The Memorabilia Xenophon
  • Only for a moment, and then he continued the questionable pleasure of following her.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • No message in cipher, nor any that is at all questionable, must be sent or delivered.

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
British Dictionary definitions for questionable


(esp of a person's morality or honesty) admitting of some doubt; dubious
of disputable value or authority: a questionable text
Derived Forms
questionableness, questionability, noun
questionably, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for questionable

1580s, "that may be interrogated;" c.1600, "open to dispute, doubtful," from question (v.) + -able. Deprecatory sense of "dubious in character" is attested from 1806. Related: Questionably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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