When you're doubtful about something, you're not sure about it. You might feel doubtful about the picnic you've planned if the forecast calls for torrential rain.

Whether you're uncertain, undecided, or suspicious, you can describe yourself as doubtful. You'll be doubtful about your taxi driver's sense of direction when you pass the same building for the third time. You might also be doubtful about whether or not to try skydiving. Doubtful means "full of doubt," and doubt is from the Old French doter, "doubt or be afraid," with a Latin root, dubitare, "to question, hesitate, or waver in opinion."

Definitions of doubtful

adj fraught with uncertainty or doubt

“they were doubtful that the cord would hold”
“it was doubtful whether she would be admitted”
incertain, uncertain, unsure
lacking or indicating lack of confidence or assurance

adj open to doubt or suspicion

“the candidate's doubtful past”
dubious, dubitable, in question
subject to question

adj unsettled in mind or opinion

still in doubt

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.