[ dout-fuhl ]
/ ˈdaʊt fəl /
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.
SYNONYMS FOR doubtful
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Origin of doubtful
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
OTHER WORDS FROM doubtful
doubt·ful·ly, adverbdoubt·ful·ness, nounpre·doubt·ful, adjectivepre·doubt·ful·ly, adverb
quasi-doubtful, adjectivequa·si-doubt·ful·ly, adverbun·doubt·ful, adjectiveun·doubt·ful·ly, adverbun·doubt·ful·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for doubtful
/ (ˈdaʊtfʊl) /
characterized by or causing doubt; uncertaina doubtful answer
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
Derived forms of doubtfuldoubtfully, 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