SYNONYMS | EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN 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. Origin of doubtful
First recorded in
is from the
-ful Related forms doubt·ful·ly, adverb doubt·ful·ness, noun pre·doubt·ful, adjective pre·doubt·ful·ly, adverb qua·si-doubt·ful, adjective qua·si-doubt·ful·ly, adverb un·doubt·ful, adjective un·doubt·ful·ly, adverb un·doubt·ful·ness, noun Synonym study 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.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for doubtfulness uncertainty
unreasonableness Examples from the Web for doubtfulness Historical Examples of doubtfulness
doubtfulness as to their adaptability to the representative form of government.
She was haunted by an uneasy sense of
doubtfulness as to her social position.
There was incredulity in the question, but also there was a tinge of
His replies were oracular neither in brevity nor in
doubtfulness of meaning.
Mr. Zwiebel looked at his wife with an elaborate assumption of
doubtfulness. British Dictionary definitions for doubtfulness adjective unlikely; improbable characterized by or causing doubt; uncertain a 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 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 doubtfully, adverb doubtfulness, noun usage
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
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Word Origin and History for doubtfulness adj.
late 14c., from
doubt (n.) + -ful. Related: Doubtfully; doubtfulness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper