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

If lying about genetic tests sounds ethically… questionable, the researchers know. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Genetic information as self-fulfilling prophecy," 17 Dec. 2018 LeBron James had been on the wrong end of a crucial block/charge review that was undertaken via questionable circumstances. Ben Golliver,, "Silver Linings Emerge for Cavs After One of ‘Toughest Losses’ of LeBron James's Career," 3 June 2018 That meant, for instance, that members of the public could request to examine the records of a juvenile shot and killed by police under questionable circumstances. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "State law that keeps juvenile records private also shields police from scrutiny, advocates say," 26 May 2018 The hospital has also confronted fallout from high-profile lapses in care for obstetric and nursing-home patients who died under questionable circumstances. Peter Jamison, Washington Post, "Hospital in Southeast would be half the size of United Medical Center," 3 Apr. 2018 Alton Sterling was killed under questionable circumstances. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Questions, like tears, fall after Stephon Clark's death," 29 Mar. 2018 In a department where cops have killed people under questionable circumstances and kept their badges, in a culture where police are imbued with the power of life and death, a cop who speaks up for justice is fired for being late. Solomon Jones,, "When a cop who speaks up for justice is fired for lateness, how can the rest of us expect fairness? | Solomon Jones," 14 Mar. 2018 Reddit user ColdBeing brought this hypothesis to the forefront after yesterday's explosive episode, pointing to Bran's questionable behavior during the Battle of Winterfell. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "This Game of Thrones Theory Suggests Bran Is Actually Evil," 29 Apr. 2019 After her Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo debuted in early January, everyone has been sharing their own experiences with the KonMari Method on social media — some good, some questionable — and making us laugh along the way. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "10 Hilarious Marie Kondo Memes That Sum Up How We Really Feel About Tidying Up," 17 Jan. 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.

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First Known Use of questionable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for questionable

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for questionable

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

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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.

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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).


using a distributed computer network

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