dubious

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

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

In both cases, the judges found that the administration had a right to end DACA, but that the White House’s official explanation for doing so was legally dubious — and thus the move had been arbitrary and capricious. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "A Dreamers-for-Wall Deal Could Pass the Senate – If Trump Let It," 14 Feb. 2018 President Trump has also recently charged the company with dubious claims of bias against conservatives. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "House lawmakers want answers from Google on censored Chinese search engine," 14 Sep. 2018 Perhaps only when the public starts believing dubious claims that all bad things come from climate change. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "If California Was Serious About Climate," 31 Aug. 2018 For years, many governments have turned a blind eye toward bribery of foreign officials on a dubious assumption that their domestic firms might lose business. The Christian Science Monitor, "Europe gets a grip on graft," 25 May 2018 NBC News on Sunday backed off a dubious claim that Americans use 1.6 straws a day on average, after critics noted it was based on research from a nine-year-old boy whose methodology never has undergone any significant scrutiny. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "NBC News backs off fishy statistic about plastic straws from research by 9-year-old boy," 22 Apr. 2018 More important, those industrial workers who supposedly put Trump in office (a dubious assumption) have never made up the entirety of the working class or even its majority. Sarah Jaffe, New Republic, "The New Working Class," 22 Feb. 2018 The plan, of course, assumes that humanity's capacity for logic and instinct for self-preservation outweigh its natural curiosity—on evidence, a dubious assumption. Tim Heffernan, Popular Mechanics, "Finland's Crazy Plan to Make Nuclear Waste Disappear," 10 May 2012 But the locals, although admitting that the disciples have ascribed their presence to temporary necessity before, are dubious. David Sarasohn, The New Republic, "Antelope’s Last Stand," 12 Apr. 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

15 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for dubious

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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