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

Steve Wilks’ team has certainly earned that dubious distinction, currently ranking dead last in the NFL in both scoring offense and scoring defense. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Five things to know about the Seahawks’ next opponent: The Arizona Cardinals," 24 Sep. 2018 Arlington, Texas, has the dubious distinction of being the largest American city without a conventional bus system. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "This city has a vision for mass transit that doesn’t involve city buses," 31 Aug. 2018 His voluntary departure also avoids the potentially dubious distinction of becoming the first Missouri governor to be impeached by the House. CBS News, "Missouri gets new governor, as scandal-plagued Eric Greitens resigns," 1 June 2018 Hosmer is also on pace for a more dubious career high. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres notes: Hosmer's numbers; Ross quality not enough for first time," 15 June 2018 While the series — which explores race relations, identity and privilege at a fictional Ivy League university — received a 100% fresh rating with critics, its audience rating was a more dubious 65%. Yvonne Villarreal, latimes.com, ""Dear White People": Creator Justin Simien goes back to class in Season 2," 5 May 2018 Wall Street analysts who cover the aluminum industry were dubious of Navarro’s suggestion that the prospect of tariffs under a Trump administration was a necessary spark for the plant investment. Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, "Did Trump’s aluminium tariffs spark a $1.5 billion plant in Kentucky?," 7 June 2018 Image: Vivo Vivo thinks the two displays could be useful in a few (dubious) scenarios. Sam Byford, The Verge, "Vivo’s new Nex has a second display and ‘Lunar Ring’ on the back," 11 Dec. 2018 The researchers also singled out Polar Bear Science, a blog run by Susan J. Crockford, a Canadian zoologist, as a primary source of dubious information about the status of polar bears. Author: Erica Goode, Anchorage Daily News, "Climate skeptics say polar bears are fine. Scientists beg to differ.," 10 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

10 May 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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