dubious

adjective
du·​bi·​ous | \ ˈdü-bē-əs How to pronounce dubious (audio) also dyü-\

Definition of dubious

1 : unsettled in opinion : doubtful I was dubious about the plan.
2 : giving rise to uncertainty: such 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

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Other Words from dubious

dubiously adverb
dubiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dubious

doubtful, dubious, problematic, questionable mean not affording assurance of the worth, soundness, or certainty of something. doubtful implies little more than a lack of conviction or certainty. doubtful about whether I said the right thing dubious stresses suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation. dubious about the practicality of the scheme problematic applies especially to things whose existence, meaning, fulfillment, or realization is highly uncertain. whether the project will ever be finished is problematic questionable may imply no more than the existence of doubt but usually suggests that the suspicions are well-grounded. a man of questionable honesty

There's No Uncertainty Around the Definition of Dubious

Dubious derives from the Latin verb dubare, meaning "to hesitate in choice of opinions or courses," and it is related to the Latin word for "two": duo. Dubious can be used to indicate uncertainty about the result of an action or the truth of a statement as well as about the uncertainty of a person and his or her character. In either case, it usually implies a feeling of doubt from suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation.

Examples of dubious in a Sentence

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 Thus, the translation of the Latin word biographus as "a biography," and the limitation of "biographies" to written, printed histories of men, was perhaps inevitable. Poor Dryden was given the dubious honor of being the first to use the generic term—despite the fact that his phrase had been taken out of the context of biographical compilers, in a discussion of Plutarch. — Nigel Hamilton, Biography, 2007 That indeed is the crux of the matter. Today especially, when community-oriented policing is being introduced everywhere, it seems not only ethically dubious but self-defeating to engage in practices that at their best undermine trust and cooperation between citizens and law-enforcement officials and at their worst foster cynicism toward our legal system. — Edwin Dobb, Harper's, May 2002 To avoid fees, the new "relationship" minimum for checking accounts jumped from $2000 to as much as $6000. And what would customers get in exchange? The ability to take advantage of such a dubious new benefit as a consolidated monthly statement. Consumer Reports, March 1996 He made the highly dubious claim that Elvis is still alive and living in Hawaii. a man of dubious character
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Recent Examples on the Web

Andrew Boyce’s scenic design is a fluid cross between an analyst’s office and a shabby motel room evoking Florida interstates and dubious drifters. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Review: In Lucas Hnath's 'Dana H.,' a kidnapping survivor's truth hides in the shadows," 3 June 2019 If the movement ends once big businesses can cash in on health and beauty products, marketed with dubious claims that cast CBD as a panacea, then the movement has failed. Amber Senter, Marie Claire, "We Have to Acknowledge That CBD Use Is a Privilege," 11 Apr. 2019 This isn't a totally foolish thing to believe—for decades, the government took the word of scientists who said that lead in gasoline was not leading to lead poisoning in workers, among other dubious claims. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "Chemtrails Aren't Real, In Case You Were Wondering," 14 Aug. 2016 The good news is that the countries agreed to lift the tit-for-tat tariffs that the U.S. imposed last year on the dubious grounds that steel and aluminum from our close northern ally is a threat to national security. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Metals Tariff Reprieve," 17 May 2019 Ghosn has been charged with falsifying financial documents in underreporting his compensation, and with breach of trust in using Nissan money for dubious payments. Yuri Kageyama, The Seattle Times, "Detention of Nissan’s ex-chair Ghosn extended to April 22," 12 Apr. 2019 But never before have celebrities and brands had the ability to telegraph their dubious advice on dieting into the phones of millions of impressionable young people at once. Allie Conti, Marie Claire, "How Are Appetite Suppressing Lollipops Still a Thing?," 5 Oct. 2018 This is a dubious argument to make about the hearings—one that necessarily involves a very limited view of democracy. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Washington Post worries Strzok hearings were bad for democracy.," 13 July 2018 That didn’t seem to stop Goop, which is known for touting dubious and potentially harmful health advice and products. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "In “triumph of ignorance,” Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop touts $135 coffee enema," 6 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dubious.' 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 dubious

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for dubious

Latin dubius, from dubare to vacillate; akin to Latin duo two — more at two

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Dictionary Entries near dubious

Dubhe

dubiety

dubiosity

dubious

dubitable

dubitancy

dubitant

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Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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The first known use of dubious was in 1548

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More Definitions for dubious

dubious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dubious

: 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

dubious

adjective
du·​bi·​ous | \ ˈdü-bē-əs How to pronounce dubious (audio) , ˈdyü-\

Kids Definition of dubious

1 : causing doubt : uncertain Our plans are dubious at this point.
2 : feeling doubt I was dubious about our chances.
3 : questionable sense 1 … they all began discussing dragon-slayings historical, dubious, and mythical …— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Other Words from dubious

dubiously adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on dubious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dubious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dubious

Spanish Central: Translation of dubious

Nglish: Translation of dubious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dubious for Arabic Speakers

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