mis·​trust | \ ˌmis-ˈtrəst How to pronounce mistrust (audio) \

Definition of mistrust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a lack of confidence : distrust


mistrusted; mistrusting; mistrusts

Definition of mistrust (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to have no trust or confidence in : suspect mistrusted his neighbors
2 : to doubt the truth, validity, or effectiveness of mistrusted his own judgment
3 : surmise your mind mistrusted there was something wrong— Robert Frost

intransitive verb

: to be suspicious

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Other Words from mistrust


mistrustful \ ˌmis-​ˈtrəst-​fəl How to pronounce mistrust (audio) \ adjective
mistrustfully \ ˌmis-​ˈtrəst-​fə-​lē How to pronounce mistrust (audio) \ adverb
mistrustfulness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for mistrust


uncertainty, doubt, dubiety, skepticism, suspicion, mistrust mean lack of sureness about someone or something. uncertainty may range from a falling short of certainty to an almost complete lack of conviction or knowledge especially about an outcome or result. assumed the role of manager without hesitation or uncertainty doubt suggests both uncertainty and inability to make a decision. plagued by doubts as to what to do dubiety stresses a wavering between conclusions. felt some dubiety about its practicality skepticism implies unwillingness to believe without conclusive evidence. an economic forecast greeted with skepticism suspicion stresses lack of faith in the truth, reality, fairness, or reliability of something or someone. regarded the stranger with suspicion mistrust implies a genuine doubt based upon suspicion. had a great mistrust of doctors

Examples of mistrust in a Sentence

Noun She has a strong mistrust of politicians. had an unfortunate mistrust of doctors, so her medical condition was allowed to worsen Verb I was starting to mistrust my own judgment. a recluse who mistrusts her neighbors and stays in her house all day
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Beijing is sensitive to other countries blaming it for the pandemic, and rising mistrust between the U.S. and China has compounded the difficulty of scientific collaboration and consensus. Chao Deng, WSJ, 22 July 2021 Scientific success has foundered on the rocks of tribalist mistrust. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 16 July 2021 Ivo Vlaev, a professor at Britain’s University of Warwick who advises the government on behavioral science during COVID-19, agreed that Western countries’ refusal to recognize vaccines used in poor countries could fuel mistrust. Maria Cheng, ajc, 13 July 2021 Ivo Vlaev, a professor at Britain's University of Warwick who advises the government on behavioral science during COVID-19, agreed that Western countries' refusal to recognize vaccines used in poor countries could fuel mistrust. Maria Cheng, Star Tribune, 13 July 2021 Tucker Carlson, spewer of marketable mistrust, has conquered prime time. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 12 July 2021 Fueled by misinformation and mistrust, many residents, particularly in remote areas, believe that the vaccines cause impotence, serious side effects and could even kill. Arkansas Online, 10 July 2021 Many demonstrators saw the police response as heavy-handed, fueling public mistrust in officers who the democracy movement saw as agents of the government. CNN, 9 July 2021 Research has found hesitancy to take the Covid-19 vaccination is more prevalent among Latino and Black Americans, with history of racial discrimination and medical mistrust as contributing factors. NBC News, 4 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Getting to the point of actual legislation that can pass the House and Senate under budget reconciliation rules would be something close to heroic for a Democratic Party where elements mistrust each other's motivations and political skillsets. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, 15 July 2021 What’s more, some immigrants mistrust doctors who don’t speak their language or who treat them curtly — and those concerns have been amplified by harsh political rhetoric directed at Mexicans and Central Americans. New York Times, 20 June 2021 We are hardwired to trust those who make eye contact, and to mistrust those who don’t. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Han said that Asians are deterred from reporting hate crimes for reasons ranging from cultural norms to mistrust. Halley Bondy, NBC News, 6 May 2021 Won’t that tarnish Gilead’s reputation further and make everyone mistrust them even more? Erik Kain, Forbes, 12 May 2021 And, either way, the public is taught to mistrust Article III. The Editors, National Review, 16 Apr. 2021 The belief systems that underpin the groups have similarities — both mistrust the Japanese government and support Trump. Emiko Jozuka, Selina Wang And Junko Ogura, CNN, 23 Apr. 2021 Further, there’s no concrete evidence of any reason to mistrust the state court proceedings or that Schmidt is prosecuting people based on their viewpoints, the judge wrote. oregonlive, 27 Feb. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for mistrust

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The first known use of mistrust was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mistrust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistrust. Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for mistrust



English Language Learners Definition of mistrust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: lack of trust or confidence : a feeling that someone is not honest and cannot be trusted



English Language Learners Definition of mistrust (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have no trust or confidence in (someone or something)


mis·​trust | \ mis-ˈtrəst How to pronounce mistrust (audio) \

Kids Definition of mistrust

 (Entry 1 of 2)


mistrusted; mistrusting

Kids Definition of mistrust (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : to lack confidence in They mistrust your abilities.

More from Merriam-Webster on mistrust

Nglish: Translation of mistrust for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mistrust for Arabic Speakers


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