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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.


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


(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.


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.


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.
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"


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.


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


[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.


(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


[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


(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.


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
References in classic literature ?
I'm afraid he'll laugh at our paper, and make fun of us afterward," observed Pickwick, pulling the little curl on her forehead, as she always did when doubtful.
Sometimes he was altogether doubtful and thought God had deserted the world.
But the young inventor was too busy listening to the unseen speaker to answer his chum, even if he heard what Ned remarked, which is doubtful.
IT still lacked half an hour of sunrise, when Miss Hepzibah Pyncheon--we will not say awoke, it being doubtful whether the poor lady had so much as closed her eyes during the brief night of midsummer--but, at all events, arose from her solitary pillow, and began what it would be mockery to term the adornment of her person.
This morbid meddling of conscience with an immaterial matter betokened, it is to be feared, no genuine and steadfast penitence, but something doubtful, something that might be deeply wrong beneath.
After rising, in town, to meet his appeal, I had at all events a couple of very bad days-- found myself doubtful again, felt indeed sure I had made a mistake.
The fact that Mary had been there so long had not made any difference to her--it was doubtful if she even knew that, for both the forelady and the superintendent were new people, having only been there two or three years themselves.
The minister, who inclined strongly to abolitionist views, was quite doubtful whether such a step might not tend somewhat to encourage the southerners in holding on to their slaves; while the doctor, who was a stanch colonizationist, inclined to the opinion that Miss Ophelia ought to go, to show the Orleans people that we don't think hardly of them, after all.
When we were snugly lodged in the tree and cur- tained with foliage, the king was satisfied, but I was doubtful.
But on general principles it is my opinion that a colt out of a coyote and a wild-cat is no square dog, but doubtful.
My internal hurts were deemed the most serious, since it was apparent that a broken rib had penetrated my left lung, and that many of my organs had been pressed out so far to one side or the other of where they belonged, that it was doubtful if they would ever learn to perform their functions in such remote and unaccustomed localities.
He was a fine, majestic creature, a gentleman according to the nicest requirements of the Virginia rule, a devoted Presbyterian, an authority on the "code", and a man always courteously ready to stand up before you in the field if any act or word of his had seemed doubtful or suspicious to you, and explain it with any weapon you might prefer from bradawls to artillery.