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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The quality and ingredient sourcing of dietary supplements is often questionable at best. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "GH Tested: Persona Nutrition," 21 Aug. 2019 Even if the motives of the tech giants are questionable, the importance of technologies like 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence to the country’s competitive position isn’t lost on lawmakers. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "The Phony Patriots of Silicon Valley," 12 Aug. 2019 Phoenix would seem to be trying to accelerate their rebuild, but this decision is questionable, given the way this draft seemed slated to fall. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "NBA draft grades: Phoenix Suns' Cameron Johnson NBA draft pick blasted by pundits," 21 June 2019 The Warriors are pretty banged up with Klay Thompson questionable, Kevon Looney out with a broken collarbone and Kevin Durant not likely to play until Game 4 at the earliest., "The rap on Toronto vs. Golden State, Game 3 of 2019 NBA Finals: Crowquill," 5 June 2019 Voters should be electing politicians who decline get-rich invitations, who reject offers that might be legal but are highly questionable, who understand their purpose is to represent their constituents. Kristen Mcqueary,, "Column: There’s only one way to clean up government in Illinois and City Hall," 3 June 2019 At this point, that leaves him likely to be listed as at least questionable, if not doubtful or out, when the Seahawks have to make a status declaration on Wednesday. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks Tuesday injury report: K.J. Wright again out but Chris Carson and D.J. Fluker are full go," 13 Nov. 2018 Bledsoe is a strong defender and serious athlete, but his jumper is average at best, and his shot selection is questionable. Josiah Turner,, "Six Non-Superstars Who Could Decide Next Season," 20 Aug. 2019 Midfielder Cristian Higuita continues to recover from his long-term hamstring injury, while defender João Moutinho is questionable after suffering a hamstring injury during the Lions’ Open Cup loss. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City heads to Toronto for crucial Eastern Conference matchup," 11 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of questionable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about questionable

Statistics for questionable

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for questionable

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for questionable



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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on questionable

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!