1 of 2


dis·​trust (ˌ)dis-ˈtrəst How to pronounce distrust (audio)
: the lack or absence of trust


2 of 2


distrusted; distrusting; distrusts

transitive verb

: to have no trust or confidence in

Examples of distrust in a Sentence

Noun He has a distrust of doctors. the psychic's bold claims were greeted with distrust and outright scorn Verb She's always distrusted their promises. we instinctively distrust those phone calls that tell us we have won a free vacation or car
Recent Examples on the Web
Doing so will help you and your talent move from distrust to fearless Gen AI enthusiasts. Deborah Lovich, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 On that broader note, the 2022 paper argued that acute public anxieties during the pandemic became intertwined with a legacy of distrust in medical and government institutions. Keith Kloor, Scientific American, 22 Nov. 2023 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi capped two days in Washington on Friday with an hour-long visit with President Biden at the White House, part of an ongoing effort to thaw relations between the two superpowers after a year of anger and distrust from both sides. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 The explosive reactions illustrate how President Biden’s climate policies are running into a wall of distrust in some oil and gas states. Lisa Friedman, New York Times, 26 Oct. 2023 In that light, the book is also a kind of shadow history of Americans’ distrust in government through much of the 20th century. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Some Ukrainians fear that the entire country is now fated to become like the Donbas, where accused collaborators and patriots still distrust and despise one another, nearly 10 years after the conflict there. James Verini Paolo Pellegrin, New York Times, 1 Nov. 2023 That can create suspicion, distrust, and even paranoia. Anni Hallila, Fortune, 31 Oct. 2023 Even worse, this latest war – the most devastating since 1948 between Israelis and Palestinians – will likely only harden the hate and distrust. Neri Zilber, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Oct. 2023
The couple sought to give birth at home because, Timmerman said, his then-wife distrusted the medical system. Amy Brittain, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2023 Initially, although Likud distrusted the deal with the PLO, Netanyahu promised to fulfill Israel’s commitments. TIME, 17 Oct. 2023 In general, the founders often distrusted the masses and sought to create structural protections against them. Dan Balz and Clara Ence Morse, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Aug. 2023 Unlike McCarthy, Scalise has yet to make or break promises to the holdouts in his party—earning favor with members of the far right, who long distrusted the former speaker. Edith Olmsted, The New Republic, 13 Oct. 2023 But a few families had refused the city’s relocation offers, distrusting officials. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 8 May 2023 Unlike McCarthy, Scalise has yet to make or break promises to the holdouts in his party—earning favor with members of the far Right, who long distrusted the former Speaker. Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, The New Republic, 12 Oct. 2023 By this point Wang was distrusted by many people close to Ray, sources say. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 9 Oct. 2023 The Army Corps has sought to reassure Maui residents — many of whom distrust federal forces, especially those affiliated with the U.S. military — that its work will not be heavy-handed or destructive. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'distrust.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1513, in the meaning defined above


1548, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of distrust was in 1513

Dictionary Entries Near distrust

Cite this Entry

“Distrust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distrust. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
dis·​trust (ˈ)dis-ˈtrəst How to pronounce distrust (audio)
: to have no trust or confidence in


2 of 2 noun
: a lack of trust or confidence
distrustfulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on distrust

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