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[skep-ti-kuh l] /ˈskɛp tɪ kəl/
inclined to skepticism; having an attitude of doubt:
a skeptical young woman who will question whatever you say.
doubtful about a particular thing:
My teacher thinks I can get a scholarship, but I'm skeptical.
showing doubt:
a skeptical smile.
denying or questioning the tenets of a religion:
a skeptical approach to the nature of miracles.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to Skeptics or Skepticism.
Also, sceptical.
Origin of skeptical
1630-40; skeptic + -al1
Related forms
skeptically, adverb
skepticalness, noun
antiskeptical, adjective
nonskeptical, adjective
overskeptical, adjective
overskeptically, adverb
overskepticalness, noun
unskeptical, adjective
unskeptically, adverb
1. skeptic. See doubtful. 3. unbelieving. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for skeptical
  • Other researchers say the finding appears to be solid, although some are skeptical of its significance.
  • The townspeople are skeptical at first but soon bring small offerings: a head of cabbage, a bunch of carrots, a bit of beef.
  • Other scientists are skeptical of even that claim, if not openly dismissive of it.
  • But he is skeptical about the newer studies, which are yet to be confirmed by other labs.
  • He adds, however, that scientists must remain skeptical until other groups reproduce the experiments.
  • Vimys made three history-making flights, inspiring the development of long-distance aviation for a skeptical world.
  • The claim has drawn mostly baffled, and skeptical, responses from physicists and alien-life experts.
  • But he is skeptical the meeting will accomplish much.
  • The marine biologist says he was skeptical that a dedicated giant squid hunt would succeed.
  • His audience: a row of skeptical females fidgeting on an overhanging limb.
British Dictionary definitions for skeptical


not convinced that something is true; doubtful
tending to mistrust people, ideas, etc, in general
of or relating to sceptics; sceptic
Derived Forms
sceptically, (archaic, US) skeptically, 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 skeptical

also sceptical, 1630s; see skeptic + -al (1). Related: Skeptically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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