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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In addition, hiding KPI data from anyone within the company can lead to mistrust and a general decline in company health. Steve Taplin, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 Five trans women were murdered in March alone this year, and many other violent crimes go unreported due to mistrust between trans people and the police. Hasan Ali, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Aug. 2022 Whitmer has blamed then-President Donald Trump for stoking mistrust and fomenting anger over coronavirus restrictions and refusing to condemn hate groups and right-wing extremists like those charged in the plot. Ed White, ajc, 12 Aug. 2022 Counseling issues can lead to rumors, misunderstandings, mistrust and even toxic communication within the team. Anton Pavlovsky, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 Whitmer has blamed then-President Donald Trump for stoking mistrust and fomenting anger over coronavirus restrictions and refusing to condemn hate groups and right-wing extremists like those charged in the plot. BostonGlobe.com, 10 Aug. 2022 Yet these faulty assumptions remain the cornerstone of homophobia in modern day medicine and account for much of the mistrust that LGBTQ+ people have toward the health care system. Lala Tanmoy Das And Eric Kutscher, CNN, 6 Aug. 2022 There’s been a narrative throughout the pandemic of Chinese obfuscation making matters worse—fueled by the same political tensions and mistrust that have made the lab leak theory so compelling to some. Wired, 5 Aug. 2022 This story plays into the medical mistrust that abounds in communities of color. Quita Highsmith, STAT, 2 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bini previously blocked Ari's phone number and led to mistrust in their relationship. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 19 Aug. 2022 But while the efforts are gaining traction, barriers to financial literacy still exist, from a lack of generational knowledge to mistrust in financial institutions and short-term thinking around money and finances. Paula Andruss, USA TODAY, 19 Aug. 2022 When a movie refuses to vary its pace, the audience subconsciously starts to mistrust the information and the exertions on the screen. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, 6 Apr. 2022 That brand of asymmetry helps explain why many people mistrust CNN. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2021 But as soon as scientific truth becomes inherently associated with one political creed, people who have conflicting political sympathies will be predisposed to mistrust it. Holly Thomas, CNN, 29 Dec. 2021 Most Americans already mistrust the press, and making journalists more dependent on government will compound the suspicion of bias. James Freeman, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2021 That experience cemented his credibility with many older voters of color, some of whom mistrust the police while also worrying about crime. New York Times, 2 Nov. 2021 At one end are environmentalists who deeply mistrust big utilities and think regular people have a right to generate their own power. Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mistrust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistrust. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for mistrust


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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