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doubtful

[ dout-fuhl ]
/ ˈdaʊt fəl /
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See synonyms for: doubtful / doubtfully / doubtfulness on Thesaurus.com

adjective

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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”

Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of doubtful

First recorded in 1350–1400, doubtful is from the Middle English word douteful.See doubt, -ful

synonym study for doubtful

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.

usage note for doubtful

See doubt.

OTHER WORDS FROM doubtful

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for doubtful

British Dictionary definitions for doubtful

doubtful
/ (ˈdaʊtfʊl) /

adjective

noun

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

Derived forms of doubtful

doubtfully, adverbdoubtfulness, noun

usage for doubtful

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
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