dubious


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dubious

adjective One many adjectival euphemisms for unproven (see there), typically used in the context of alternative therapies that provide no more benefit than an effective placebo.
References in classic literature ?
At the sixth he began to reflect that the search was rather dubious.
171} The interpretation of lines 126-143 is most dubious, and at best we are in a region of melodrama: cf.
Her little butterfly soul fluttered incessantly between memory and dubious expectation.
Some say they found the fragments of an oaken chest, and an iron pot lid, which savored strongly of hidden money, and that in the old family vault there were traces of bales and boxes; but this is all very dubious.
Their application to the British minister at New York shows the dubious feeling with which they had embarked in the present enterprise.
she answered, taking hold of a delicate gold chain which she always wore round her neck and drawing out the end from her bosom with my ring hanging to it; "it hurts me a little, I can tell you," she said, with her usual dubious smile, "to wear it in that secret place; and since your poetical nature is so stupid as to prefer a more public position, I shall not endure the pain any longer.
Dubious little damsel as you thought her, she had kept a firm hold of that; nothing could be proved against her, and she was determined not to let her reputation go till she had got her equivalent.
So it wasn't Dona Rita, it wasn't Blunt, it wasn't the Pretender with his big infectious laugh, it wasn't all that lot of politicians, archbishops, and generals, of monks, guerrilleros, and smugglers by sea and land, of dubious agents and shady speculators and undoubted swindlers, who were pushing their fortunes at the risk of their precious skins.
And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
Scraps of popular songs were chorused with an enthusiasm which was a strange prelude to a scientific lecture, and there was already a tendency to personal chaff which promised a jovial evening to others, however embarrassing it might be to the recipients of these dubious honors.
After about four days of the informal council, March had come to feel a sort of grotesque sublimity about these dubious figures, defiant in the twilight of danger, as if they were hunchbacks and cripples left alone to defend a town.
As the lad stood in a dubious attitude, Durbeyfield put his hand in his pocket, and produced a shilling, one of the chronically few that he possessed.