adjective du·bi·ous \ˈdü-bē-əs also dyü-\

: unsure or uncertain : feeling doubt about something

: causing doubt, uncertainty, or suspicion : likely to be bad or wrong

—used ironically in phrases like dubious honor and dubious distinction to describe something bad or undesirable as if it were an honor or achievement

Full Definition of DUBIOUS

:  giving rise to uncertainty: as
a :  of doubtful promise or outcome <a dubious plan>
b :  questionable or suspect as to true nature or quality <the practice is of dubious legality>
:  unsettled in opinion :  doubtful <I was dubious about the plan>
du·bi·ous·ly adverb
du·bi·ous·ness noun

Examples of DUBIOUS

  1. He made the highly dubious claim that Elvis is still alive and living in Hawaii.
  2. a man of dubious character
  3. The recent rumbles and ruptures in the financial markets are finally making people reassess the dubious systems of credit that have arisen in the past few years. —William Safire, New York Times Magazine, 19 Aug. 2007

Origin of DUBIOUS

Latin dubius, from dubare to vacillate; akin to Latin duo two — more at two
First Known Use: 1548

Rhymes with DUBIOUS


Next Word in the Dictionary: dubitablePrevious Word in the Dictionary: dubiosityAll Words Near: dubious
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