variants also problematical

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective problematic contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of problematic are doubtful, dubious, and questionable. While all these words mean "not affording assurance of the worth, soundness, or certainty of something," problematic applies especially to things whose existence, meaning, fulfillment, or realization is highly uncertain.

whether the project will ever be finished is problematic

When might doubtful be a better fit than problematic?

The words doubtful and problematic are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, doubtful implies little more than a lack of conviction or certainty.

doubtful about whether I said the right thing

When can dubious be used instead of problematic?

The synonyms dubious and problematic are sometimes interchangeable, but dubious stresses suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation.

dubious about the practicality of the scheme

When is it sensible to use questionable instead of problematic?

While the synonyms questionable and problematic are close in meaning, questionable may imply no more than the existence of doubt but usually suggests that the suspicions are well-grounded.

a man of questionable honesty

Thesaurus Entries Near problematic

Cite this Entry

“Problematic.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

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