questionable

adjective

ques·​tion·​able ˈkwes-chə-nə-bəl How to pronounce questionable (audio)
ˈkwesh-,
 in rapid speech  ˈkwesh-nə-
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
questionableness noun
questionably
ˈkwes-chə-nə-blē How to pronounce questionable (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.
Recent Examples on the Web To the six tax experts consulted for this article, Trump’s Chicago accounting maneuvers appeared to be questionable and unlikely to withstand scrutiny. Paul Kiel, Fortune, 11 May 2024 South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol issued his first apology over his wife receiving a luxury handbag under questionable circumstances, highlighting his efforts to set a new course for his government after a stinging defeat in parliamentary elections. Soo-Hyang Choi, Fortune Asia, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for questionable 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'questionable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near questionable

Cite this Entry

“Questionable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/questionable. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

questionable

adjective
ques·​tion·​able ˈkwes-chə-nə-bəl How to pronounce questionable (audio)
ˈkwesh-
1
: open to doubt, question, or challenge : not certain or exact
milk of questionable purity
a questionable decision
2
: believed to be bad, false, or unsound : dubious
questionable motives
questionably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on questionable

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