(Roget's IV) modif.
1. [Ambiguous]
Syn. in doubt, questionable, problematic, vague, indistinct, unclear, indefinite, undetermined, unresolved, open to doubt, in question, equivocal, unsure, indeterminate, under examination, debatable, theoretical, up in the air*, iffy*, yes and no*, out of focus*; see also obscure 1 , questionable 1 , uncertain 2 .
2. [Uncertain in mind]
Syn. dubious, doubting, questioning, skeptical, undecided, unsure, wavering, hesitating, ambivalent, undetermined, uncertain, unsettled, confused, disturbed, lost, puzzled, disconcerted, perplexed, discomposed, flustered, flurried, baffled, hesitant, distracted, faltering, unresolved, in a quandary, of two minds, unable to make up one's mind, vacilLating, indecisive, irresolute, agnostic, like a doubting Thomas, troubled with doubt, of little faith, faithless, distrustful, incredulous, cynical, not knowing what's what, having no idea, in a dilemma, under a spell*, in the clouds*, up a tree*, in a haze*, not able to make head or tail of*, from Missouri*, going around in circles*, out of one's bearings*, up in the air*, wishy-washy*; see also suspicious 1 .
3. [Of questionable character]
Syn. dubious, sneaky, disreputable, shady*; see questionable 2 , suspicious 2 .
Syn.- doubtful implies strong uncertainty as to the probability, value, honesty, validity, etc. of something [ a doubtful remedy ] ; dubious is less strong, suggesting merely vague suspicion or hesitancy [dubious about the future ] ; questionable strictly suggests only that there is some reason for doubt, but it is often used as a euphemism to imply strong suspicion, almost amounting to certainty, of immorality, dishonesty, etc. [ a questionable reputation ] ; problematic implies only uncertainty with no suggestion of a moral question [ a problematic success ]
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus) a.
1. questionable dubious, unclear, hazy, uncertain, unsure, debatable, inconclusive, ambiguous, clouded, undetermined, problematic.
2. unlikely improbable, farfetched.
3. disbelieving suspicious, distrustful, hesitant, unsure, uncertain, questioning, skeptical, wavering, irresolute.
ANT.: 1. certain, sure, clear. 2. likely, probable. 3. believing, convinced
(Roget's Thesaurus II) adjective 1. Not affording certainty: ambiguous, borderline, chancy, clouded, dubious, dubitable, equivocal, inconclusive, indecisive, indeterminate, problematic, problematical, questionable, uncertain, unclear, unsure. Informal: iffy. Idioms: at issue, in doubt, in question. See CERTAIN, CLEAR. 2. Not likely: improbable, questionable, unapt, unlikely. See LIKELY. 3. Experiencing doubt: dubious, skeptical, uncertain, undecided, unsure. Idiom: in doubt. See CERTAIN. 4. In doubt or dispute: arguable, contested, debatable, disputable, exceptionable, moot, mootable, problematic, problematical, questionable, uncertain. See CERTAIN. 5. Of dubious character: equivocal, questionable, shady, suspect, suspicious, uncertain. Informal: fishy. See HONEST.

English dictionary for students. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • doubtful — doubtful, dubious 1. The constructions that follow doubtful correspond to the pattern outlined for doubt above, with whether and if still dominant but a that clause now increasingly common: • It is doubtful that in the right to life controversy… …   Modern English usage

  • Doubtful — Doubt ful, a. 1. Not settled in opinion; undetermined; wavering; hesitating in belief; also used, metaphorically, of the body when its action is affected by such a state of mind; as, we are doubtful of a fact, or of the propriety of a measure.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • doubtful — doubtful, dubious, problematic, questionable are comparable when they mean not affording assurance of the worth, soundness, success, or certainty of something or someone. Doubtful and dubious are sometimes used with little distinction. Doubtful,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • doubtful — I adjective arguable, at issue, conditional, conjectural, contestable, controvertible, debatable, disbelieving, disposed to question, disputable, distrustful, doubtable, doubting, dubious, dubitable, dubius, equivocal, implausible, improbable, in …   Law dictionary

  • doubtful — UK US /ˈdaʊtfəl/ adjective ACCOUNTING ► used to describe debts or accounts that are unlikely to be paid: »The Company has established an allowance for doubtful accounts based on the credit risk of specific customers and historical trends. → See… …   Financial and business terms

  • doubtful — [dout′fəl] adj. [ME douteful] 1. in doubt; not clear or definite; ambiguous 2. not clearly predictable; uncertain; unsure 3. giving rise to doubt or suspicion; questionable, as in reputation 4. feeling doubt; unsettled in opinion or belief… …   English World dictionary

  • doubtful — [adj1] questionable, unclear ambiguous, borderline, chancy, clouded, contingent, debatable, dicey, disreputable, doubtable, dubious, dubitable, equivocal, far fetched, fat chance, fishy*, hazardous, hazy, iffy*, impugnable, inconclusive,… …   New thesaurus

  • doubtful — late 14c., from DOUBT (Cf. doubt) + FUL (Cf. ful). Related: Doubtfully; doubtfulness …   Etymology dictionary

  • doubtful — ► ADJECTIVE 1) uncertain. 2) not known with certainty. 3) improbable. DERIVATIVES doubtfully adverb doubtfulness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • doubtful — [[t]da͟ʊtfʊl[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu v link ADJ, oft it v link ADJ that/wh If it is doubtful that something will happen, it seems unlikely to happen or you are uncertain whether it will happen. For a time it seemed doubtful that he would move at… …   English dictionary

  • doubtful — doubt|ful [ˈdautfəl] adj 1.) probably not true or not likely to happen ▪ Prospects for a lasting peace remain doubtful. it is doubtful if/whether ▪ It was doubtful whether the patient would survive the operation. it is doubtful that ▪ It is… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.