Synonyms & Antonyms of doubtful

1 not feeling sure about the truth, wisdom, or trustworthiness of someone or something
  • he was doubtful about the decision to complete the project despite its mounting problems

Synonyms for doubtful

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Phrases Synonymous with doubtful

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Antonyms for doubtful

2 giving good reason for being doubted, questioned, or challenged
  • the election results were highly doubtful, so an investigation was begun

Synonyms for doubtful

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Antonyms for doubtful

3 not likely to be true or to occur
  • our winning the championship increasingly looks like a doubtful outcome

Synonyms for doubtful

Words Related to doubtful

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Antonyms for doubtful

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Frequently Asked Questions About doubtful

How does the adjective doubtful contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of doubtful are dubious, problematic, and questionable. While all these words 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

When is dubious a more appropriate choice than doubtful?

The words dubious and doubtful are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, dubious stresses suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation.

dubious about the practicality of the scheme

When is it sensible to use problematic instead of doubtful?

While the synonyms problematic and doubtful are close in meaning, problematic applies especially to things whose existence, meaning, fulfillment, or realization is highly uncertain.

whether the project will ever be finished is problematic

When would questionable be a good substitute for doubtful?

While in some cases nearly identical to doubtful, questionable may imply no more than the existence of doubt but usually suggests that the suspicions are well-grounded.

a man of questionable honesty

Learn More About doubtful

Time Traveler for doubtful

Time Traveler

The first known use of doubtful was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Doubtful.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on doubtful

Nglish: Translation of doubtful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of doubtful for Arabic Speakers


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