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 However, despite growing mistrust, people continue to require the services of financial advisors and financial institutions, and these avenues are the most likely to be leveraged when Americans need financial advice. Lilah Raynor, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Blinken and his colleagues will have to tackle that lingering mistrust, said Andrew Rudman, head of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 The mistrust Black and brown people have about America’s health care institution is warranted. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Oct. 2021 In their fight over trillions of dollars, their paramount policy goals and perhaps their political fate, the mistrust between Democratic progressives and centrists isn't helping. Arkansas Online, 1 Oct. 2021 The Black and brown communities have been historically underserved – and worse – by the medical community, and their hesitancy or mistrust over the vaccines is understandable. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2021 Given that African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and face inequities in health care, a policy that takes vaccination into account could fuel mistrust and exacerbate existing disparities. Robert Klitzman, CNN, 20 Sep. 2021 Homeless service providers, advocates and homeless people themselves all say the uncertain end dates led to mistrust. Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2021 Brazilians, who have watched politician after politician get sent off to prison, are primed to mistrust. Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In La Guajira, years of government abandonment and mismanagement have caused many Wayuu residents to mistrust the health system. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 The column did not help Coomer’s credibility among those inclined to mistrust him already. New York Times, 24 Aug. 2021 Wang attributes these beliefs to mistrust in the healthcare system, leading some people to assume that financial motivations drive cancer care and that curing cancer would be less lucrative than withholding a cure. Deb Gordon, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Corporate power wasn’t especially popular in fin de siècle America, where strike-breaking industrial barons taught those without wealth to mistrust the ownership class. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2021 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

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

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mistrust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistrust. Accessed 28 Oct. 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) : distrust


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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