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[kwes-chuh-nuh-buh l] /ˈkwɛs tʃə nə bəl/
of doubtful propriety, honesty, morality, respectability, etc.:
questionable activities; in questionable taste.
open to question or dispute; doubtful or uncertain:
a statement of questionable accuracy.
open to question as to being of the nature or value suggested:
a questionable privilege.
1580-90; question + -able
Related forms
questionableness, questionability, noun
questionably, adverb
2. debatable, disputable, controvertible, dubitable, dubious.
1. certain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for questionable
  • The invention is of use to the inventor, of questionable help to any other.
  • Many experts have also become concerned about biofuels' questionable green credentials.
  • The reliability of the water-level sensors in these structures is also questionable.
  • Implants work sometime but they are questionable and a bit of a guess they are often mis located or too long.
  • The software's reliability is questionable at best even with the patches.
  • While many industry norms are questionable at best, agents provide necessary and important services.
  • Because our decisions were made in haste, their quality was always questionable.
  • questionable work finds its way more easily through the review process and enters into the domain of knowledge.
  • It's morally questionable, true, but that doesn't mean anything technically.
  • To some extent, whether clients got put into questionable investments depended on which senior manager oversaw their account.
British Dictionary definitions for questionable


(esp of a person's morality or honesty) admitting of some doubt; dubious
of disputable value or authority: a questionable text
Derived Forms
questionableness, questionability, noun
questionably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for questionable

1580s, "that may be interrogated;" c.1600, "open to dispute, doubtful," from question (v.) + -able. Deprecatory sense of "dubious in character" is attested from 1806. Related: Questionably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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