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 (do͞o′bē-əs, dyo͞o′-)
1. Fraught with uncertainty or doubt; undecided.
2. Arousing doubt; doubtful: a dubious distinction.
3. Of questionable character: dubious profits.

[From Latin dubius; see dwo- in Indo-European roots.]

du′bi·ous·ly adv.
du′bi·ous·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. marked by or causing doubt: a dubious reply.
2. unsettled in mind; uncertain; doubtful
3. of doubtful quality; untrustworthy: a dubious reputation.
4. not certain in outcome
[C16: from Latin dubius wavering]
ˈdubiously adv
ˈdubiousness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈdu bi əs, ˈdyu-)

1. marked by or occasioning doubt; equivocal: a dubious reply.
2. of doubtful quality or propriety; questionable: a dubious compliment.
3. of uncertain outcome.
4. wavering in opinion; inclined to doubt; hesitant.
[1540–50; < Latin dubius; see -ous]
du′bi•ous•ly, adv.
du′bi•ous•ness, n.
syn: See doubtful.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
...in suspicious circumstances.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.dubious - 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"
2.dubious - 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"
3.dubious - not convinced; "they admitted the force of my argument but remained dubious"
unconvinced - lacking conviction; "I remain unconvinced"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. suspect, suspicious, crooked, dodgy (Brit., Austral., & N.Z. informal), questionable, unreliable, shady (informal), unscrupulous, fishy (informal), disreputable, untrustworthy, undependable dubious business dealings
suspect reliable, dependable, trustworthy
2. unsure, uncertain, suspicious, hesitating, doubtful, sceptical, tentative, wavering, hesitant, undecided, unconvinced, iffy (informal), leery (slang), distrustful, in two minds (informal) My parents were a bit dubious about it all.
unsure sure, certain, positive, definite
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.
شاكُّ، مُشْتَبِهمُريِبمُشْتَبَه فيه، مَشْكوكٌ فيه
efins, hikandivafasamur
abejotinas dalykasnetikrumas
đáng ngờ


[ˈdjuːbɪəs] ADJ
1. (= questionable) [reputation, claim, privilege, taste] → dudoso; [person, character, motives] → sospechoso; [company, offer] → poco fiable; [business deal, practice] → sospechoso, turbio; [idea, measure] → discutible; [compliment] → equívoco
to have the dubious honour/pleasure of doing sthtener el dudoso honor/placer de hacer algo
that paté looks a bit dubiousese paté tiene una pinta un poco sospechosa
of dubious benefitde beneficios dudosos
of dubious originde origen dudoso
of dubious qualityde dudosa calidad
2. (= unsure) [look, smile] → indeciso
to be dubioustener dudas or reservas
I was dubious at first, but he convinced meal principio tenía mis dudas or reservas, pero él me convenció
I'm very dubious about ittengo grandes dudas or reservas sobre ello
I am dubious that or whether the new law will achieve anythingtengo mis dudas or reservas sobre si la nueva ley va a lograr algo
he looked dubiousparecía tener dudas or reservas, parecía dudar
he sounded dubiousparecía tener dudas or reservas, parecía dudar
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


[ˈdjuːbiəs] adj
(= doubtful) [person] → hésitant(e), incertain(e)
to be dubious about sth → avoir des doutes sur qch, ne pas être sûr(e) de qch
My parents were a bit dubious about it → Mes parents avaient quelques doutes à ce sujet.
I'm very dubious about it → J'ai des doutes sur la question., Je n'en suis pas sûr du tout.
(= open to question) [reputation, record, company] → douteux/euse; [claim] → suspect(e)
to have the dubious honour of being ... → avoir le triste honneur d'être ...
to have the dubious distinction of being ... → avoir la triste distinction d'être ...
to have the dubious pleasure of seeing ... → avoir le privilège peu enviable de voir ...
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= questionable) reputation, personzweifelhaft; business dealfragwürdig, zweifelhaft; idea, claim, statement, basisfragwürdig; attributionfraglich; it seems dubious that…es erscheint fragwürdig, dass …; (= suspicious)es erscheint verdächtig, dass …; of dubious originzweifelhaften Ursprungs; of dubious benefit/qualityvon zweifelhaftem Nutzen/zweifelhafter Qualität; it sounds dubious to meich habe da meine Zweifel; to have the dubious honour (Brit) or honor (US) or distinction/pleasure of doing something (usu iro)die zweifelhafte Ehre/das zweifelhafte Vergnügen haben, etw zu tun
(= uncertain, unconvinced)unsicher; I was dubious at first, but he convinced meich hatte zuerst Bedenken, aber er überzeugte mich; I was dubious that or whether …ich bezweifelte, dass …; he’s dubious whether he should comeer weiß nicht or ist im Zweifel, ob er kommen soll; to be dubious about somethingetw anzweifeln; I’m very dubious about itich habe da doch starke Zweifel; he sounded dubiouser klang zweifelnd or skeptisch; she looked dubioussie blickte skeptisch drein; he gave me a dubious looker sah mich zweifelnd an
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈdjuːbɪəs] adj (gen) → dubbio/a; (look, smile) → dubbioso/a; (character, manner) → ambiguo/a, equivoco/a
to feel dubious about or as to what to do next → essere incerto/a sul da farsi
I'm very dubious about it → ho i miei dubbi in proposito
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈdjuːbiəs) adjective
1. doubtful. I am dubious about the wisdom of this action.
2. probably not honest. dubious behaviour.
dubiety (djuˈbaiəti) noun
(formal) doubt; dubiousness.
ˈdubiousness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مُريِب pochybný tvivlsom zweifelhaft διφορούμενος dudoso epäilyttävä douteux dvojben incerto 怪しげな 의심스러운 dubieus tvilsom wątpliwy duvidoso сомнительный tvivelaktig น่าสงสัย kuşkulu đáng ngờ 暧昧的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
Bob Sawyer, pursuing the thread of the subject--'which, I think, Ben, are rather dubious.'
Whether to admit Hercules among us or not, concerning this I long remained dubious: for though according to the Greek mythologies, that antique Crockett and Kit Carson --that brawny doer of rejoicing good deeds, was swallowed down and thrown up by a whale; still, whether that strictly makes a whaleman of him, that might be mooted.
Their application to the British minister at New York shows the dubious feeling with which they had embarked in the present enterprise.
He turned out to be neither count nor exile--at least, in the political sense of the word--but had had to leave his native land owing to some rather dubious affair of the past.
The question seemed a very dubious one to Will, and his repugnance to again entering into any relation with the banker might have made him dismiss it quickly, if there had not arisen in his imagination the probability that his judgment might be more safely determined by a visit to Middlemarch.
Many lusty blows, much more pleasant as well as easy to have seen, than to read or describe, were given on both sides: at last a violent fall, in which Jones had thrown his knees into Thwackum's breast, so weakened the latter, that victory had been no longer dubious, had not Blifil, who had now recovered his strength, again renewed the fight, and by engaging with Jones, given the parson a moment's time to shake his ears, and to regain his breath.
His manners, however, must have been unmarked, wavering, dubious, or she could not have been so misled.
So that controversies, wranglings, disputes, and positiveness, in false or dubious propositions, are evils unknown among the HOUYHNHNMS.
As the lad stood in a dubious attitude, Durbeyfield put his hand in his pocket, and produced a shilling, one of the chronically few that he possessed.
Browning fairly, as we think, in all his various efforts, his aim is to point his readers to the best, the indisputable, rather than to the dubious portions of his author's work.
He scanned the bookcases and bookshelves, and with the same dubious air with which he had regarded the snipe, he smiled contemptuously and hook his head disapprovingly, as though by no means willing to allow that this game were worth the candle.
Tom saw no reason why they should not make up this quarrel as they had done many others, by behaving as if nothing had happened; for though he had never before said to Philip that his father was a rogue, this idea had so habitually made part of his feeling as to the relation between himself and his dubious schoolfellow, who he could neither like nor dislike, that the mere utterance did not make such an epoch to him as it did to Philip.