Doubt"ful (?), a.


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.

Methinks I should know you, and know this man; Yet I am doubtful. Shak.

With doubtful feet and wavering resolution. Milton.


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.

Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good. Shak.

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.


Characterized by ambiguity; dubious; as, a doubtful expression; a doubtful phrase.


Of uncertain issue or event.

We . . . have sustained one day in doubtful fight. Milton.

The strife between the two principles had been long, fierce, and doubtful. Macaulay.


Fearful; apprehensive; suspicious.


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.


© Webster 1913.

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