ques·​tion·​able | \ ˈkwes-chə-nə-bəl How to pronounce questionable (audio) , ˈkwesh-, in rapid speech ˈkwesh-nə- \

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

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Other Words from questionable

questionableness noun
questionably \ ˈkwes-​chə-​nə-​blē How to pronounce questionably (audio) , ˈkwesh-​ , in rapid speech  ˈkwesh-​nə-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of questionable in a Sentence

The truth of the statements was highly questionable. The water available in the village is of questionable quality. a man of questionable character They acquired the money through questionable means. The company is facing a questionable future.
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Recent Examples on the Web Despite fielding tough inquiries from lawmakers about questionable acquisition strategies and the potential stifling of competing businesses, the companies came out fairly unscathed, at least from a stock-market perspective. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "How Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook fared on the stock market after a very big week," 31 July 2020 The number seems questionable—who’s to say what’s wrong?—and is based on only a few small studies. Patricia Marx, The New Yorker, "Bramancing the Braless: Notes on Nine Lingerie Startups," 30 July 2020 At the time of the surgery, Durrani already had resigned from the hospital due to questionable practices, according to the plaintiff's mother. Kevin Grasha, The Enquirer, "100 former patients of fugitive doctor await Ohio Supreme Court ruling," 29 July 2020 The report also cited questionable rulings, such as in the discipline handed down to officers involved in Tanisha Anderson’s restraint. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Report blasts former Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath for being lenient with problem police officers," 13 July 2020 Fans of Supermarket Sweep will remember it fondly for the particularly questionable '90s fashion and, of course, contestants frantically zooming through supermarket aisles in search of very specific items for a chance to win huge prizes. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Supermarket Sweep Is on Netflix and Fans Are Going Wild With Nostalgia," 12 July 2020 The soundness of data aggregating website Worldometer is considered questionable by some academics, but the site is one of many sources from which the JHU dashboard pulls data. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Johns Hopkins' dashboard: The people behind the pandemic's most visited site," 11 July 2020 China, too, for all its questionable governance and behavior during the pandemic, managed to curb the spread of the virus. Washington Post, "The pandemic and the dawn of an ‘Asian Century’," 10 July 2020 Scholars say that the claim that taking away a statue or renaming a street erases history is questionable. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "The fight over monuments asks, who is an American hero and who is a 'symbol of hate'?," 4 July 2020

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.

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First Known Use of questionable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for questionable

Time Traveler

The first known use of questionable was in the 15th century

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Statistics for questionable

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Questionable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for questionable


How to pronounce questionable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of questionable

: 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


ques·​tion·​able | \ ˈkwes-chə-nə-bəl How to pronounce questionable (audio) \

Kids Definition of questionable

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

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