adjective ques·tion·able \ ˈkwes-chə-nə-bəl , ˈkwesh- , in rapid speech ˈkwesh-nə- \
|Updated on: 10 Aug 2018

Definition of questionable

1 obsolete : inviting inquiry
2 obsolete : liable to judicial inquiry or action
3 : affording reason for being doubted, questioned, or challenged : not certain or exact : problematic
  • milk of questionable purity
  • a questionable decision
4 : attended by well-grounded suspicions of being immoral, crude, false, or unsound : dubious
  • questionable motives




play \ˈkwes-chə-nə-blē, ˈkwesh-, in rapid speech ˈkwesh-nə-\ adverb

Examples of questionable in a Sentence

  1. The truth of the statements was highly questionable.

  2. The water available in the village is of questionable quality.

  3. a man of questionable character

  4. They acquired the money through questionable means.

  5. The company is facing a questionable future.

Recent Examples of questionable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'questionable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of questionable

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Synonym Discussion of questionable

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

QUESTIONABLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of questionable for English Language Learners

  • : not likely to be true or correct : giving reason to doubt or question something

  • : likely to be bad : not worthy of trust

  • : not certain : unknown or undecided

QUESTIONABLE Defined for Kids


adjective ques·tion·able \ ˈkwes-chə-nə-bəl \

Definition of questionable for Students

1 : not certain or exact : doubtful water of questionable purity
2 : not believed to be true, sound, or proper
  • Her motives are questionable.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up questionable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


to oppose successfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!