Share this entry

Share this page

dubious

Syllabification: du·bi·ous
Pronunciation: /ˈd(y)o͞obēəs
 
/

Definition of dubious in English:

adjective

1Hesitating or doubting: Alex looked dubious, but complied
More example sentences
  • And it is that part that, I think, we are a little dubious about.
  • ‘At first I was a bit dubious about going back to Bradford from Otley, but now I think the move is the best thing that we have ever done,’ he said.
  • ‘People who might be dubious about standing somewhere waiting for a bus may be more encouraged to do so if they know exactly when the bus is due,’ he said.
Synonyms
2Not to be relied upon; suspect: extremely dubious assumptions
More example sentences
  • However, those often rely on dubious assumptions.
  • Such claims, he contends, rely on slippery language and dubious assumptions.
  • Instead, a dubious logic pervades, upon which we base entire networks of conclusions and imperatives.
2.1Morally suspect: time-sharing has been brought into disrepute by dubious sales methods
More example sentences
  • I listed at the beginning the most usual procedures used to provide assistance in conception, but deferred discussion of the two methods that are most morally dubious.
  • They weren't always on the side of good, and even when they were, they still regularly made morally dubious judgements, but they were always true to their natures.
  • They are engaged in tax avoidance, which is entirely legal, though you might argue it's morally dubious.
2.2Of questionable value: she earned the dubious distinction of being the lowest-paid teacher in the nation
More example sentences
  • In fact, so entrenched was the belief in many quarters that official statistics were of dubious value to social researchers that the view took root that they were virtually worthless.
  • And it spends billions each year in social welfare programs that are endlessly duplicative and of dubious value.
  • When it comes to sharing your faith, gimmicks are of dubious value.

Origin

mid 16th century (sense 2): from Latin dubiosus, from dubium 'a doubt', neuter of dubius 'doubtful'.

Derivatives

dubiously

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • Lorde frowned dubiously but before he could reply, there came a knock at the door.
  • Much of what Simpson says should encourage self-consciousness about the costs of an unthinking appeal to dubiously concrete subject positions.
  • Well, there's an example of synergy right there, albeit synergy of a negative and dubiously profitable kind.

dubiousness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • All I got was a stuck record that repeated my misdemeanours in a tone of voice that left me in no doubt as to the dubiousness of my credentials, pedigree and character.
  • My first reaction, frankly, is one of dubiousness.
  • This was probably not the best time to take an online IQ test of dubious scientific value; considering the inherent dubiousness of IQ tests to begin with.

Definition of dubious in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence