dubious

adjective
du·​bi·​ous | \ ˈdü-bē-əs How to pronounce dubious (audio) also dyü- \

Definition of dubious

1 : unsettled in opinion : doubtful I was dubious about the plan.
2 : giving rise to uncertainty: such as
a : of doubtful promise or outcome a dubious plan
b : questionable or suspect as to true nature or quality the practice is of dubious legality

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Other Words from dubious

dubiously adverb
dubiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dubious

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

There's No Uncertainty Around the Definition of Dubious

Dubious derives from the Latin verb dubare, meaning "to hesitate in choice of opinions or courses," and it is related to the Latin word for "two": duo. Dubious can be used to indicate uncertainty about the result of an action or the truth of a statement as well as about the uncertainty of a person and his or her character. In either case, it usually implies a feeling of doubt from suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation.

Examples of dubious in a Sentence

The recent rumbles and ruptures in the financial markets are finally making people reassess the dubious systems of credit that have arisen in the past few years. — William Safire, New York Times Magazine, 19 Aug. 2007 Thus, the translation of the Latin word biographus as "a biography," and the limitation of "biographies" to written, printed histories of men, was perhaps inevitable. Poor Dryden was given the dubious honor of being the first to use the generic term—despite the fact that his phrase had been taken out of the context of biographical compilers, in a discussion of Plutarch. — Nigel Hamilton, Biography, 2007 That indeed is the crux of the matter. Today especially, when community-oriented policing is being introduced everywhere, it seems not only ethically dubious but self-defeating to engage in practices that at their best undermine trust and cooperation between citizens and law-enforcement officials and at their worst foster cynicism toward our legal system. — Edwin Dobb, Harper's, May 2002 To avoid fees, the new "relationship" minimum for checking accounts jumped from $2000 to as much as $6000. And what would customers get in exchange? The ability to take advantage of such a dubious new benefit as a consolidated monthly statement. Consumer Reports, March 1996 He made the highly dubious claim that Elvis is still alive and living in Hawaii. a man of dubious character
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Recent Examples on the Web Witness the meme stock gang, who have an online community that looks for the next hot buy, however dubious. Larry Light, Fortune, 14 Oct. 2021 Villains with metal teeth, white cats, or dubious accents have a certain timeless appeal; and submarine cars, magnetic watches, or X-ray sunglasses are always cool. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 14 Oct. 2021 These historical touchpoints, when Black women were called queens of a dubious variety (Nubian queen, disco queen, welfare queen), permeate her work. New York Times, 13 Oct. 2021 So yes, there are admirable Democrats and dubious Democrats. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 11 Oct. 2021 Lawyer Bruna Morato, who represents 12 doctors currently or previously employed by Prevent Senior, told senators on Sept. 28 that her clients were repeatedly told to choose between prescribing dubious drugs or losing their jobs. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Oct. 2021 Laura’s dubious that could work with someone like Cory, the CEO of the entire network, but Bradley explains that their relationship is different. Maggie Fremont, Vulture, 9 Oct. 2021 For people who have mastered these formal tools and are now abusing them to gain dubious ends, something very different is needed — cultivation of the sort of moral character that allows one both to perceive and to desire the right things in life. Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2021 Other plaintiffs in the suit have had their accounts blocked after postings claiming election fraud or dubious treatments for COVID-19. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dubious.' 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 dubious

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for dubious

Latin dubius, from dubare to vacillate; akin to Latin duo two — more at two

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Time Traveler for dubious

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The first known use of dubious was in 1548

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Dictionary Entries Near dubious

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dubious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dubious. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for dubious

dubious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dubious

: unsure or uncertain : feeling doubt about something
: causing doubt, uncertainty, or suspicion : likely to be bad or wrong
used ironically in phrases like dubious honor and dubious distinction to describe something bad or undesirable as if it were an honor or achievement

dubious

adjective
du·​bi·​ous | \ ˈdü-bē-əs How to pronounce dubious (audio) , ˈdyü- \

Kids Definition of dubious

1 : causing doubt : uncertain Our plans are dubious at this point.
2 : feeling doubt I was dubious about our chances.
3 : questionable sense 1 … they all began discussing dragon-slayings historical, dubious, and mythical …— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Other Words from dubious

dubiously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on dubious

Nglish: Translation of dubious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dubious for Arabic Speakers

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