What does dubious mean?

Definitions for dubious
ˈdu bi əs, ˈdyu-du·bi·ous

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word dubious.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. doubtful, dubiousadjective

    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"

  2. doubtful, dubious, dubitable, in question(p)adjective

    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

  3. dubiousadjective

    not convinced

    "they admitted the force of my argument but remained dubious"


  1. dubiousadjective

    Arousing doubt; questionable; open to suspicion.

    After he made some dubious claims about the company, fewer people trusted him.

  2. dubiousadjective

    In disbelief; wavering, uncertain, or hesitating in opinion; inclined to doubt; undecided.

    She was dubious about my plan at first, but later I managed to persuade her to cooperate.

  3. Etymology: From dubius.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DUBIOUSnoun

    Etymology: dubius, Latin.

    No quick reply to dubious questions make. John Denham.

    We also call it a dubious or doubtful proposition, when there are no arguments on either side. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    Satan with less toil, and now with ease,
    Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light. John Milton, Pa. Lost.


  1. dubious

    Doubt is a mental state in which the mind remains suspended between two or more contradictory propositions, unable to be certain of any of them. Doubt on an emotional level is indecision between belief and disbelief. It may involve uncertainty, distrust or lack of conviction on certain facts, actions, motives, or decisions. Doubt can result in delaying or rejecting relevant action out of concern for mistakes or missed opportunities.


  1. dubious

    Dubious is an adjective that describes something or someone as doubtful or uncertain, often in terms of reliability, trustworthiness or validity. It can also refer to something that is suspicious, unclear, or of questionable quality.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dubiousadjective

    doubtful or not settled in opinion; being in doubt; wavering or fluctuating; undetermined

  2. Dubiousadjective

    occasioning doubt; not clear, or obvious; equivocal; questionable; doubtful; as, a dubious answer

  3. Dubiousadjective

    of uncertain event or issue; as, in dubious battle

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Dubious

    dū′bi-us, adj. doubtful: undetermined: causing doubt: of uncertain event or issue.—adv. Dū′biously.—ns. Dū′biousness, Dubī′ety, Dubios′ity, doubtfulness. [L. dubius.]

How to pronounce dubious?

How to say dubious in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of dubious in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of dubious in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of dubious in a Sentence

  1. Marcus Kauffman:

    It's kind of a dubious honor, but it's not all bad news.

  2. Democrat Chris Anderson:

    I like this question as a gauge of perceptions month to month, but its predictive power seven months from the election is dubious.

  3. Jesse Hunt:

    Democratic voters have shown that they are certainly energized in a lot of these special elections, but as it pertains to Montana you have a strong candidate in Greg Gianforte who has a strong message that appeals to a broad swath of Montana voters contrasted with a liberal musician with a dubious financial past.

  4. Derek Chollet:

    I think that it is tempting always in hindsight to say Libya would be better somehow if we had not intervened, i think that is a highly dubious proposition. It is one where, had we not intervened, the conversation we would be having is thousands and thousands of people died and Libya looks like Syria.

  5. Ria Tabacco Mar:

    The mail policy is based on the dubious notion that gay prisoners pose a security threat simply for being who they are and the equally absurd idea that reading about gay people will somehow make you gay, gay people are no more likely to pose a threat than anyone else.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for dubious

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مشكوك فيهArabic
  • tvivlrådig, usikker, tvivlsom, tvivlendeDanish
  • dubios, ominös, unsicher, fragwürdigGerman
  • αμφίβολος, ύποπτος, αμφιλεγόμενος, αβέβαιος, αναποφάσιστοςGreek
  • turbio, dudoso, ambiguo, equívoco, avieso, torvo, aleatorioSpanish
  • مشکوکPersian
  • kyseenalainen, epävarma, epäilyttävä, epäluuloinen, epäilevä, arveluttavaFinnish
  • torve, douteux, aléatoire, ambigu, équivoque, loucheFrench
  • संदिग्धHindi
  • կասկածելիArmenian
  • equivoco, losco, ambiguo, bieco, dubbio, torvoItalian
  • 疑わしいJapanese
  • dubieusDutch
  • tvilsom, tvilrådig, usikkerNorwegian
  • niepewny, nieprzekonanyPolish
  • dubiosRomanian
  • сомневающийся, колеблющийся, сомнительныйRussian
  • tvivelaktigSwedish
  • సందేహాస్పదమైనదిTelugu
  • şüpheliTurkish

Get even more translations for dubious »


Find a translation for the dubious definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"dubious." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/dubious>.

Discuss these dubious definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for dubious? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    easily diffused or spread as from one person to another
    A contagious
    B ravening
    C defiant
    D equivalent

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for dubious: