Doubtful
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. [1913 Webster]

Methinks I should know you, and know this man; Yet I am doubtful. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

With doubtful feet and wavering resolution. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Admitting of doubt; not obvious, clear, or certain; questionable; not decided; not easy to be defined, classed, or named; as, a doubtful case, hue, claim, title, species, and the like. [1913 Webster]

Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Is it a great cruelty to expel from our abode the enemy of our peace, or even the doubtful friend [i. e., one as to whose sincerity there may be doubts]? --Bancroft. [1913 Webster]

3. Characterized by ambiguity; dubious; as, a doubtful expression; a doubtful phrase. [1913 Webster]

4. Of uncertain issue or event. [1913 Webster]

We . . . have sustained one day in doubtful fight. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The strife between the two principles had been long, fierce, and doubtful. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

5. Fearful; apprehensive; suspicious. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

I am doubtful that you have been conjunct And bosomed with her. --Shak.

Syn: Wavering; vacillating; hesitating; undetermined; distrustful; dubious; uncertain; equivocal; ambiguous; problematical; questionable. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • 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 — 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

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