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mistrust

[ mis-truhst ]
/ mɪsˈtrʌst /
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noun
lack of trust or confidence; distrust.
verb (used with object)
to regard with mistrust, suspicion, or doubt; distrust.
to surmise.
verb (used without object)
to be distrustful.

VIDEO FOR MISTRUST

What's The Difference Between "Mistrust" And "Distrust"?

Did you know there was a difference between the words mistrust and distrust? Yea, we didn't either. Watch Emmy explain ...

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Origin of mistrust

1350–1400; Middle English mistrusten (v.), mistrust (noun). See mis-1, trust

OTHER WORDS FROM mistrust

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

MISTRUST VS. DISTRUST

What’s the difference between mistrust and distrust?

As nouns, mistrust and distrust mean just about the same thing: doubt or suspicion—a lack of trust.

As verbs, they are also often used interchangeably to mean to regard someone with suspicion—to not trust them.

Some people think that there is a subtle difference in what each word implies. Distrust, they say, implies that there is a strong reason for the lack of trust—that it’s based on something that a person has already done. Mistrust, on the other hand, is said to be based on suspicion, as opposed to having a basis in someone’s past actions.

This may be what some people intend to imply when they use each word, but, still, most people use the two of them in just about the same way. Distrust is the more commonly used of the two. The adjective distrustful is also more common than mistrustful.

Here are some examples of mistrust and distrust used correctly in a sentence. In both cases, the other word could be swapped in without changing the meaning.

Example: I have a deep mistrust of landlords. 

Example: She has distrusted me ever since I lost her book—and I think her distrust of me has grown since then. 

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between mistrust and distrust.

Quiz yourself on mistrust vs. distrust!

True or False? 

Mistrust is only ever a verb, while distrust is only ever a noun.

How to use mistrust in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mistrust

mistrust
/ (ˌmɪsˈtrʌst) /

verb
to have doubts or suspicions about (someone or something)
noun
distrust

Derived forms of mistrust

mistruster, nounmistrustful, adjectivemistrustfully, adverbmistrustfulness, noun
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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