[skep-ti-kuh l]


Related formsan·ti·scep·ti·cal, adjectivehy·per·scep·ti·cal, adjectivehy·per·scep·ti·cal·ly, adverbhy·per·scep·ti·cal·ness, nouno·ver·scep·ti·cal, adjectiveo·ver·scep·ti·cal·ly, adverbo·ver·scep·ti·cal·ness, nounun·scep·ti·cal, adjectiveun·scep·ti·cal·ly, adverb


or scep·ti·cal



inclined to skepticism; having an attitude of doubt: a skeptical young woman who will question whatever you say.
doubtful about a particular thing: My teacher thinks I can get a scholarship, but I'm skeptical.
showing doubt: a skeptical smile.
denying or questioning the tenets of a religion: a skeptical approach to the nature of miracles.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to Skeptics or Skepticism.

Origin of skeptical

First recorded in 1630–40; skeptic + -al1
Related formsskep·ti·cal·ly, adverbskep·ti·cal·ness, nounan·ti·skep·ti·cal, adjectivenon·skep·ti·cal, adjectiveo·ver·skep·ti·cal, adjectiveo·ver·skep·ti·cal·ly, adverbo·ver·skep·ti·cal·ness, nounun·skep·ti·cal, adjectiveun·skep·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for skeptical

Synonym study

1. See doubtful. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sceptical

Contemporary Examples of sceptical

Historical Examples of sceptical

  • But the Wee Folk were under a cloud; sceptical hints had embittered the chalice.

    The Golden Age

    Kenneth Grahame

  • Fear not, he replied, for your audience will not be hard upon you; they are not sceptical or hostile.

  • When the sceptical Sadducees and the Pharisees, sought a sign it was to try him, can he do it?

  • Polly herself, sceptical as she was, should be brought to admit that he had kept his word.


    Charles James Lever

  • "I should rather thank you," cried Maimon, with sceptical enthusiasm.

British Dictionary definitions for sceptical


archaic, US skeptical


not convinced that something is true; doubtful
tending to mistrust people, ideas, etc, in general
of or relating to sceptics; sceptic
Derived Formssceptically or archaic, US skeptically, 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

Word Origin and History for sceptical



also sceptical, 1630s; see skeptic + -al (1). Related: Skeptically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper