Definition of doubtful
1 : giving rise to doubt or uncertainty : open to question It is doubtful that they ever knew what happened. a doubtful premise
2a : lacking a definite opinion, conviction, or determination They were doubtful about the advantages of the new system.b : uncertain in outcome : undecided The outcome of the election remains doubtful.
3 : marked by qualities that raise doubts about worth, honesty, or validity of doubtful repute
doubtfullyplay \-fə-lē\ adverb
Examples of doubtful in a Sentence
I tried to reassure them, but they remained doubtful.
The truth of the statements was doubtful.
Their decisions were based on data of doubtful accuracy.
Recent Examples of doubtful from the Web
In L.A., Drake Bell also hosted a birthday party, complete with a cake covered in shirtless magazine shots of himself (whether Josh Peck received an invite is … doubtful).
The Wings are hoping to add a veteran defenseman with a bit of offense to him when the market opens Saturday, but signings beyond that are doubtful.
Whether that leaves room for diplomacy in Hamburg is doubtful, but nothing useful can emerge unless Trump clears his fuzzy view of Putin.
Its highly doubtful that even the most optimistic Fire fan saw that coming.
But Martin Perez is doubtful for his start against the Indians after a freak accident that resulted in a broken bone in the tip of his right/non-throwing thumb.
For one, the practicality of such a series is, at best, doubtful and at worst, dangerous.
Most Democratic activists have decided to focus their support on Georgia instead of South Carolina, where strategists are doubtful Democrat candidate Archie Parnell can defeat Republican candidate Ralph Norman.
Philippine national police chief says robbery may have been a motive in casino attack; terror links doubtful.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doubtful'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of doubtful
DOUBTFUL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of doubtful for English Language Learners
: uncertain or unsure about something
: not likely to be true : not probable
: likely to be bad : not worthy of trust
DOUBTFUL Defined for Kids
Definition of doubtful for Students
1 : undecided or unsure about something I'm doubtful we'll make it on time. Minli was a little doubtful about riding the dragon. — Grace Lin, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
2 : not likely to be true a doubtful claim
3 : not likely to be good doubtful quality
4 : not certain in outcome a doubtful future
Seen and Heard
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