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mis·​trust ˌmis-ˈtrəst How to pronounce mistrust (audio)
: a lack of confidence : distrust
mistrustful adjective
mistrustfully adverb
mistrustfulness noun


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mistrusted; mistrusting; mistrusts

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to be suspicious
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
But the biggest thing holding employees back is their mistrust over the new tech’s quality and accuracy. Eva Roytburg, Fortune, 4 June 2024 Popular on Variety The Farsi-language film centers on Iman, an investigating judge in the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, who grapples with mistrust and paranoia as nationwide political protests intensify and his gun mysteriously disappears. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 19 May 2024
Lima agreed that passengers mistrusting airlines is a big part of why so many passengers rely solely on carry-ons on their trips. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 27 Mar. 2024 But news organizations have now started to mistrust the information fed to them by the palace. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 16 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for mistrust 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mistrust.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near mistrust

Cite this Entry

“Mistrust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistrust. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
mis·​trust (ˈ)mis-ˈtrəst How to pronounce mistrust (audio)
mistrustful adjective
mistrustfully adverb
mistrustfulness noun


2 of 2 verb

More from Merriam-Webster on mistrust

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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