- 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 for doubtful 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 doubtfulness
The doubtfulness as to their adaptability to the representative form of government.The Arena
She was haunted by an uneasy sense of doubtfulness as to her social position.In the Year of Jubilee
There was incredulity in the question, but also there was a tinge of doubtfulness too.Local Color
Irvin S. Cobb
His replies were oracular neither in brevity nor in doubtfulness of meaning.The Life of Albert Gallatin
Mr. Zwiebel looked at his wife with an elaborate assumption of doubtfulness.The Competitive Nephew
- 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
Word Origin and History for doubtfulness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper