dubious

adjective
du·​bi·​ous | \ ˈdü-bē-əs 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

Some investors, though, are dubious the January trend will hold up this year. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Signs Point to Strong January for Stocks," 7 Jan. 2019 Republicans have long been dubious of the association's objectivity. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Bar Association asks to delay Brett Kavanaugh vote until FBI investigates," 29 Sep. 2018 But security experts are dubious of any claim that Cellebrite can defeat the encryption used by iOS to protect the contents of Apple devices. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Cellebrite can unlock any iPhone (for some values of “any”)," 1 Mar. 2018 This created the dubious scenario of an expansion team, the Blues, coached by up-and-comer Scotty Bowman and featuring ex-Seattle Totems star Noel Picard on defense, reaching the final their first three years. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Mixed results: A half-century of trial and error with NHL expansion franchises," 5 Dec. 2018 Comparing the feature to Face Unlock could be a dubious one, since Face Unlock is the least secure method of unlocking on OnePlus phones. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "The OnePlus 6T will have a feature the iPhone XS and Pixel 3 won’t: an in-display fingerprint reader," 10 Sep. 2018 With tender performances and dubious conclusions, this story is best appreciated as an explanation for why people seek out the false comfort of gendered pseudoscience. Teo Bugbee, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Female Brain’ Flattens the Female Experience," 8 Feb. 2018 Franklin made opportunistic professional choices as well, choices that seem dubious in retrospect. Sam Kean, WSJ, "‘Young Benjamin Franklin’ Review: Poor Richard Sows His Oats," 17 Sep. 2018 Officials appeared dubious about suggestions that unusually hot weather in Switzerland, like other parts of Europe, might have been a main cause of the crash. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Finding cause of Swiss Alps vintage plane crash proves major challenge; 20 killed," 5 Aug. 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

18 Jan 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, 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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