skep·​ti·​cal | \ ˈskep-ti-kəl How to pronounce skeptical (audio) \

Essential Meaning of skeptical

: having or expressing doubt about something (such as a claim or statement) She's highly skeptical of/about the researchers' claims. I'm skeptical that he can win. [=I doubt he can win] See More ExamplesHe says he can win, but I remain skeptical. When I said I'd finished my homework early, Mom looked skeptical.Hide

Full Definition of skeptical

: relating to, characteristic of, or marked by skepticism a skeptical listener

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Other Words from skeptical

skeptically \ ˈskep-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce skeptical (audio) \ adverb

Examples of skeptical in a Sentence

She's highly skeptical of the researchers' claims. He says he can win, but I remain skeptical. When I said I'd finished my homework early, Mom looked skeptical.
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Recent Examples on the Web While the streaming giant expects to have around 250 million total subscribers by 2024, Barclays analysts are skeptical, pointing to slowing growth and the fact Disney+ has been producing far less new content than its chief competitor, Netflix. Sergei Klebnikov, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 God then asks Abraham why Sarah was skeptical (Genesis 18:13). Rabbi Avi Weiss,, 18 Oct. 2021 In the United States, the issue is polarized; many Republicans are still skeptical. Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2021 When Poulter’s Billy, the rep for Purdue Pharma, first suggests that Finnix consider prescribing OxyContin to his many patients suffering from chronic pain, the doctor is skeptical. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 15 Oct. 2021 An endorsement of the vaccine by, say Irving or Beal could actually convince some people who had been skeptical to get the jab. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 Victoria’s Secret has made to regain women’s trust, former fans are still skeptical. Frances Solá-santiago,, 28 Sep. 2021 Though some recent reports pointed to signs of a reconciliation between the two branches of the family, many royal experts are still skeptical. Iris Goldsztajn, Marie Claire, 27 Sep. 2021 Deeda Seed of the Center for Biological Diversity, who believes oil and gas interests are still driving the project, is skeptical. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Sep. 2021

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

1639, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for skeptical

Time Traveler

The first known use of skeptical was in 1639

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Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Skeptical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for skeptical


skep·​ti·​cal | \ ˈskep-ti-kəl How to pronounce skeptical (audio) \

Kids Definition of skeptical

: having or showing doubt He thinks he'll make money, but I'm skeptical.

More from Merriam-Webster on skeptical

Nglish: Translation of skeptical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skeptical for Arabic Speakers


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