dis·​trust | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈtrəst How to pronounce distrust (audio) \

Definition of distrust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the lack or absence of trust


distrusted; distrusting; distrusts

Definition of distrust (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to have no trust or confidence in

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Phil Simon, a technology expert, author, speaker and advisor who lives in Arizona, said the distrust of tech companies is not unexpected, and neither is the social media storm of misinformation that ensued. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Yes, your iPhone and Android devices have a COVID-19 tracker (sort of) — but here's why you shouldn't worry," 20 June 2020 The tide of sickness, distrust and fear slams up against the shoals of human nature. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc: How can sports proceed like this?," 20 June 2020 Poll after poll shows that distrust of China is one of the few issues on which voters from both parties agree. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "The fallout of John Bolton’s China bombshells," 18 June 2020 There is a lot of disbelief and distrust because there has been so little action with a lot of dialog that appears to have been worthless. Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis Star, "What prominent community members say should be done to make Indiana better for everyone," 17 June 2020 These are different times, but the challenge is similar: To get beyond the hate and distrust and labeling, and find Abe Lincoln’s better angels of our nature that are out there somewhere. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Why Giants legend Willie Mays is the kind of leader we could use right now," 17 June 2020 How, exactly, has there come to be so much distrust in the beauty industry? Amelia Tait, refinery29.com, "The Obsession With Online Beauty Conspiracy Theories," 14 June 2020 Richardson says history has also created a distrust in the police department. al, "Black in white coats: how Alabama’s black healthcare workers are battling pandemic, racism," 14 June 2020 Across the industry, distrust of the state prevailed—and not just of the authoritarian state. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Big Tech’s Pandemic Power Grab," 12 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unfortunately, distrust in public health and medical tools to fight the pandemic appears to be widespread in the United States. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "More than 7 in 10 Americans won’t use contact-tracing apps, data shows," 15 June 2020 There's definitely distrust out there in the criminal justice system within the black community. Lauryn Hill, Wired, "3 Black Photographers on Capturing the George Floyd Protests," 10 June 2020 Although vaccination remains the prevailing social norm, falsehoods about vaccine risks have been widely disseminated on social media, fueled by skepticism and distrust in government, industry, and science. Fortune, "How to counter vaccine skepticism if a coronavirus vaccine becomes available," 9 June 2020 Changing directives makes people distrust the government -- and doubt the need for social distancing. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Mike DeWine vs Donald Trump, Chris Quinn on subscriptions: This Week in the CLE," 14 Apr. 2020 One says that a plurality of Republicans consistently distrusted most of the news media, with exceptions for outlets Trump supports, like Fox News and radio-host Rush Limbaugh. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "Report: Trump's attacks on the press 'dangerously undermined truth and consensus'," 17 Apr. 2020 But thanks to Andy Greenwald — and the fact that many Americans may now distrust the briar patch of contemporary politics as much as Thomas’ savviest antiheroes — the unfair neglect may be coming to an end. Scott Bradfield, Los Angeles Times, "Ross Thomas, the criminally neglected spy-caper author behind “Briarpatch”," 8 Apr. 2020 Incidents like these underscore why black communities often distrust law enforcement. NBC News, "Black Miami doctor handcuffed while helping homeless during pandemic," 17 Apr. 2020 That is partly because the auctions involve private investment, which AMLO distrusts, partly because wind and solar power are intermittent, and partly because nature has provided Mexico with a bounty of hydrocarbons. The Economist, "Why Latin America’s left loves the petroleum economy," 21 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distrust.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of distrust


1513, in the meaning defined above


1548, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for distrust

Time Traveler

The first known use of distrust was in 1513

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Statistics for distrust

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Distrust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distrust. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for distrust


How to pronounce distrust (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of distrust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: lack of trust or confidence : a feeling that someone or something is not honest and cannot be trusted



English Language Learners Definition of distrust (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have no trust or confidence in (someone or something)


dis·​trust | \ dis-ˈtrəst How to pronounce distrust (audio) \

Kids Definition of distrust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a lack of belief or confidence in : suspicion The enemies eyed each other with distrust.

Other Words from distrust

distrustful adjective


distrusted; distrusting

Kids Definition of distrust (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have no belief or confidence in I distrust the ad's claims.

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