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Related to doubtful: doubtful debts


1. Subject to or causing doubt: a doubtful claim; doubtful prospects.
2. Experiencing or showing doubt: Doubtful that the cord would hold, we strengthened it.
3. Of uncertain outcome; undecided.
4. Raising doubts as to legitimacy, honesty, or respectability; suspicious: the candidate's doubtful past. See Usage Note at doubt.

doubt′ful·ly adv.
doubt′ful·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. unlikely; improbable
2. characterized by or causing doubt; uncertain: a doubtful answer.
3. unsettled; unresolved
4. of questionable reputation or morality
5. having reservations or misgivings
6. (General Sporting Terms) (of a sportsperson) not likely to be fit enough to play or take part
7. a person who is undecided or uncertain about an issue
8. (General Sporting Terms) a sportsperson who is not likely to be fit enough to play or take part
ˈdoubtfully adv
ˈdoubtfulness n
Usage: It was formerly considered correct to use whether after doubtful (it is doubtful whether he will come), but now if and that are also acceptable
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈdaʊt fəl)

1. of uncertain outcome.
2. admitting of or causing doubt; uncertain.
3. unsettled in opinion or belief; undecided; hesitant.
4. of dubious character or value: doubtful tactics.
5. unlikely; not probable.
doubt′ful•ly, adv.
doubt′ful•ness, n.
syn: doubtful, dubious, incredulous, skeptical all involve a reluctance to be convinced. doubtful implies a strong feeling of uncertainty or indecision about something or someone: to be doubtful about the outcome of a contest. dubious usu. implies vacillation or hesitation caused by mistrust or suspicion: dubious about their statements. incredulous suggests an unwillingness or reluctance to believe: incredulous at the good news. skeptical implies a general disposition to doubt or question: skeptical of human progress.
usage: See doubt.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


In artillery and naval gunfire support, a term used by an observer or spotter to indicate that he was unable to determine the difference in range between the target and a round or rounds.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.


1. 'doubtful'

If you feel doubtful about something, you are unsure about it or about whether it will happen or be successful.

Do you feel insecure and doubtful about your ability?
It was doubtful he would ever see her again.
2. 'dubious'

If you are dubious about something, you are not sure whether it is the right thing to do.

Alison sounded very dubious.
The men in charge were a bit dubious about taking women on.

If you describe something as dubious, you think it is not completely honest, safe, or reliable.

...his dubious abilities as a teacher.
3. 'suspicious'

If you are suspicious of a person, you do not trust them and think they might be involved in something dishonest or illegal.

I am suspicious of his intentions.
Miss Lenaut had grown suspicious.

If you describe something as suspicious, it suggests behaviour that is dishonest, illegal, or dangerous.

He listened for any suspicious sounds. suspicious circumstances.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.doubtful - open to doubt or suspicion; "the candidate's doubtful past"; "he has a dubious record indeed"; "what one found uncertain the other found dubious or downright false"; "it was more than dubitable whether the friend was as influential as she thought"- Karen Horney
questionable - subject to question; "questionable motives"; "a questionable reputation"; "a fire of questionable origin"
2.doubtful - fraught with uncertainty or doubt; "they were doubtful that the cord would hold"; "it was doubtful whether she would be admitted"; "dubious about agreeing to go"
incertain, uncertain, unsure - lacking or indicating lack of confidence or assurance; "uncertain of his convictions"; "unsure of himself and his future"; "moving with uncertain (or unsure) steps"; "an uncertain smile"; "touched the ornaments with uncertain fingers"
3.doubtful - unsettled in mind or opinion; "drew a few tentative conclusions"
unsettled - still in doubt; "an unsettled issue"; "an unsettled state of mind"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. unlikely, unclear, dubious, unsettled, dodgy (Brit., Austral., & N.Z. informal), questionable, ambiguous, improbable, indefinite, unconfirmed, inconclusive, debatable, indeterminate, iffy (informal), equivocal, inexact It seemed doubtful that he would move at all.
unlikely certain, definite, indubitable
3. questionable, suspect, suspicious, crooked, dubious, dodgy (Brit., Austral., & N.Z. informal), slippery, shady (informal), unscrupulous, fishy (informal), shifty, disreputable, untrustworthy They all seemed of very doubtful character.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
غَيْر مُؤَكَّدمُتَشَكِّك، كَثيرُ الأرْتِيابمُتَشَكِّك، مُرْتابمَشْكُوك فِيهمَشْكوكٌ فيه
grunsamleguróviss, efagjarnvafasamur
kuşkuluolası değilşüphelibelirsizemin değil
đáng nghi


[ˈdaʊtfʊl] ADJ
1. (= uncertain) [result, success, future] → incierto, dudoso
2. (= unconvinced) [expression] → de duda
"all right then," he said in a doubtful tone-bueno, vale -dijo con un tono de duda en la voz
Jeremy nodded his head, but he still looked doubtfulJeremy asintió pero no parecía aún convencido
I'm a bit doubtfulno estoy convencido del todo
to be doubtful thatdudar que + subjun
he was doubtful that he would be able to lift itdudaba que pudiera levantarlo
I am doubtful whether we should accept the offerdudo si deberíamos aceptar la oferta o no
to be doubtful about sthtener dudas sobre algo
3. (= unlikely) → dudoso
a reconciliation between the two sides seems doubtfuluna reconciliación entre las dos partes parece dudosa
it is doubtful that they will reach an agreementes dudoso or poco probable que lleguen a un acuerdo
it is doubtful that there will be any survivorsse duda or es poco probable que haya sobrevivientes
for a moment it seemed doubtful that he would move at allpor un momento pareció que no se iba a mover en absoluto
it is doubtful whetheres poco probable que + subjun
doubtful starter (Sport) → participante mf dudoso
4. (= questionable) [taste, reputation, quality, value] → dudoso
in doubtful tastede dudoso gusto
the weather looks a bit doubtfulel tiempo no parece muy estable
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈdaʊtfʊl] adj
(= unlikely) it is doubtful that ..., it is doubtful whether ... → il est douteux que ... + subj
(= uncertain) [thing] → douteux/euse
it's doubtful → ce n'est pas sûr
(= dubious) [quality, value] → douteux/euse
(= full of doubts) [person] → incertain(e)
I'm a bit doubtful
BUT Je n'en suis pas si sûr.
You sound doubtful
BUT Tu n'as pas l'air sûr.
to be doubtful about sth → avoir des doutes sur qch
to be doubtful (that) ... → douter que ... + subj
to be doubtful whether ... → douter que ... + subj
to be doubtful about doing something → hésiter à faire quelque chose
I'm doubtful about going by myself → J'hésite à y aller tout seul.
(= unlikely to play) [player]
Jokanovic is doubtful for Chelsea → La participation de Jokanovic avec Chelsea est incertaine.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(usu pred: = unconvinced) personunsicher; I’m still doubtfulich habe noch Bedenken; to be doubtful about somethingan etw (dat)zweifeln; to be doubtful about doing somethingBedenken haben, ob man etw tun soll; I was doubtful whether I could ever manage itich bezweifelte, ob ich es je schaffen könnte; to be doubtful of somebody/somethingjdm/einer Sache (dat)nicht trauen
(= unlikely) reconciliation, improvement, victoryunwahrscheinlich; it is doubtful that…es ist unsicher or zweifelhaft, ob …
(= questionable, dubious) reputationzweifelhaft, fragwürdig; future, outcomeungewiss; joke, taste, quality, valuezweifelhaft; information of doubtful reliability/originzweifelhafte Informationen; it is doubtful whether this could be managedes ist fraglich, ob das zu schaffen wäre
(Sport: = unlikely to play) he is doubtful for tonight’s matches ist fraglich, ob er heute Abend spielen kann; she is a doubtful starter for Saturday’s racees ist fraglich, ob sie in dem Rennen am Samstag starten wird
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈdaʊtfʊl] adj (uncertain, person) → poco convinto/a; (look) → dubbioso/a; (result, success, future) → dubbio/a, incerto/a; (debatable, question) → discutibile; (questionable, taste, reputation) → dubbio/a
to be doubtful about sth → non essere convinto/a di qc, avere dei dubbi su qc
I'm a bit doubtful → non sono tanto sicuro
it's doubtful whether ... → non è sicuro che... + sub
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(daut) verb
1. to feel uncertain about, but inclined not to believe. I doubt if he'll come now; He might have a screwdriver, but I doubt it.
2. not to be sure of the reliability of. Sometimes I doubt your intelligence!
a feeling of not being sure and sometimes of being suspicious. There is some doubt as to what happened; I have doubts about that place.
ˈdoubtful adjective
1. feeling doubt; uncertain what to think, expect etc. He is doubtful about the future of the school.
2. able to be doubted; not clear. The outcome is doubtful; a doubtful result.
3. uncertain but rather unlikely, unhopeful etc. It is doubtful whether this will work; a doubtful improvement.
4. suspicious. He's rather a doubtful character.
ˈdoubtfully adverb
ˈdoubtfulness noun
ˈdoubtless adverb
probably. John has doubtless told you about me.
beyond doubt
certain(ly). Beyond doubt, they will arrive tomorrow; His honesty is beyond doubt.
in doubt
uncertain. The result of the dispute is still in doubt.
no doubt
surely; probably. No doubt you would like to see your bedroom; He will come back again tomorrow, no doubt.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مَشْكُوك فِيه nepravděpodobný tvivlsom zweifelhaft αμφίβολος dubitativo, dudoso kyseenalainen douteux sumnjičav dubbioso 疑わしい 의심스러운 twijfelachtig tvilsom wątpliwy duvidoso сомнительный tveksam เป็นที่สงสัย kuşkulu đáng nghi 疑惑的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
{This poem is no longer considered doubtful as it was in 1903.
Because he who conquers does not want doubtful friends who will not aid him in the time of trial; and he who loses will not harbour you because you did not willingly, sword in hand, court his fate.
It was doubtful whether she was really, what she called herself, a Dalmatian lady.
Miss Bridget did not, however, suffer her to continue long in this doubtful situation; for having looked some time earnestly at the child, as it lay asleep in the lap of Mrs Deborah, the good lady could not forbear giving it a hearty kiss, at the same time declaring herself wonderfully pleased with its beauty and innocence.
There are moments when the extent of it seems doubtful; and till his sentiments are fully known, you cannot wonder at my wishing to avoid any encouragement of my own partiality, by believing or calling it more than it is.
Who began it, or how fair it was, or how unfair, may be doubtful; but how it ended, is certainly not doubtful, for the victim was found throttled."
The farther I go back in memory, or what is the same thing the farther I go forward in my judgment, the more doubtful becomes my belief in the freedom of my action.
"I am doubtful in the first case," he said, "but I am sure in the second." He was asked for an explanation: "Doubtful of what?
take Cathy, mamma." Then, "Kiss me, Soldier." For a little time, she lay so still that we were doubtful if she breathed.
I infinitely prefer the tender and liberal spirit of Mainwaring, which, impressed with the deepest conviction of my merit, is satisfied that whatever I do must be right; and look with a degree of contempt on the inquisitive and doubtful fancies of that heart which seems always debating on the reasonableness of its emotions.
The stars were shining; there was not a cloud in the sky; he was denied the explanation which had suggested itself, doubtful as it would have been--a new snowfall with a limit so plainly defined.
And he wrote as if he really loved her very muchbut she did not knowand so, she was come as fast as she could to ask Miss Woodhouse what she should do." Emma was halfashamed of her friend for seeming so pleased and so doubtful.