Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
July 25th, 2015
Episode 267 of 797 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 25, 2015 is: dubious \DOO-bee-us\ adjective 1 a : of doubtful promise or outcome b : questionable or suspect as to true nature or quality 2 : unsettled in opinion : doubtful Examples: Jesse made the dubious claim that he could eat a whole watermelon in one sitting; then we sat in awe and watched him do it. "'Can you work with what I have?' he asked, sounding dubious. 'Absolutely!' I said, though I was dubious, too. I'd always staged houses with my own furnishings.'" Marni Jameson, San Jose Mercury News (California), June 11, 2015 Did you know? Dubious derives from the Latin verb dubare, meaning "to hesitate in choice of opinions or courses," and it is related to the Latin word for "two": duo. Dubious can be used to indicate uncertainty about the result of an action or the truth of a statement as well as about the uncertainty of a person and his or her character. In either case, it usually implies a feeling of doubt from suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation.