Thesaurus

dubious

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of dubious

1 giving good reason for being doubted, questioned, or challenged
  • any letter bearing the signature of Geronimo would be of dubious authenticity, to say the least

Synonyms for dubious

Words Related to dubious

Near Antonyms for dubious

Antonyms for dubious

2 slow to begin or proceed with a course of action because of doubts or uncertainty
  • I'm dubious about our plan to go hang gliding without having had any training

Synonyms for dubious

Words Related to dubious

Near Antonyms for dubious

Antonyms for dubious

3 not likely to be true or to occur
  • made the dubious claim of being of royal blood

Synonyms for dubious

Words Related to dubious

Near Antonyms for dubious

Antonyms for dubious

4 not feeling sure about the truth, wisdom, or trustworthiness of someone or something
  • dubious about a diet that claims I can eat all I want and still lose weight

Synonyms for dubious

Words Related to dubious

Phrases Synonymous with dubious

Near Antonyms for dubious

Antonyms for dubious

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About dubious

How does the adjective dubious contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of dubious are doubtful, problematic, and questionable. While all these words mean "not affording assurance of the worth, soundness, or certainty of something," dubious stresses suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation.

dubious about the practicality of the scheme

When would doubtful be a good substitute for dubious?

The meanings of doubtful and dubious largely overlap; however, doubtful implies little more than a lack of conviction or certainty.

doubtful about whether I said the right thing

Where would problematic be a reasonable alternative to dubious?

While in some cases nearly identical to dubious, problematic applies especially to things whose existence, meaning, fulfillment, or realization is highly uncertain.

whether the project will ever be finished is problematic

When could questionable be used to replace dubious?

The words questionable and dubious can be used in similar contexts, but questionable may imply no more than the existence of doubt but usually suggests that the suspicions are well-grounded.

a man of questionable honesty

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dubious

Time Traveler for dubious

Time Traveler

The first known use of dubious was in 1548

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about dubious

Cite this Entry

“Dubious.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dubious. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dubious

Dictionary: Definition of dubious

Nglish: Translation of dubious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dubious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dubious

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!