Definition of distrust in English:



  • [mass noun] The feeling that someone or something cannot be relied upon.

    ‘the public's distrust of politicians’
    • ‘Euphemisms are a quick fix for a debate context, but they breed distrust of even the most benign ideas.’
    • ‘Such a perspective may reflect a basic distrust of the bureaucratic structures of many unions.’
    • ‘Overweening distrust of authority can lead to blindness as much as to liberation.’
    • ‘Paradoxically, the distrust is further fuelled by the desertion of an assistant counsel on the team last month.’
    • ‘The initial inquiry triggered sensational newspaper headlines and aroused widespread distrust of the state's public hospital system.’
    • ‘They reflect an inherent distrust of artistic or intellectual pursuits.’
    • ‘The big picture issues simply wash over people, lost in the public's distrust of politicians.’
    • ‘The distrust created in the aftermath of the scandals is still part of the landscape.’
    • ‘Many of his poems show an intense distrust for machinery, which is not surprising for poets of that age.’
    • ‘He regards me with a look that manages to combine confusion and profound distrust.’
    • ‘There can also be little doubt that cynicism and distrust of politicians has never been greater.’
    • ‘Two major factors contributed most powerfully to the discontent and distrust expressed by the family and consumer groups.’
    • ‘At the time he also saw deepening distrust and hostility among the races taking root.’
    • ‘Such traditions often express a distrust of the meditative process and warn their adherents against its practice.’
    • ‘But it reflects the public distrust of the police.’
    • ‘He expresses total distrust in the broad masses of the people.’
    • ‘Public distrust of the government pops up all over the place.’
    • ‘Broad masses of the population are alienated from both parties and view their nominees with deep-seated distrust.’
    • ‘As somebody once remarked, distrust of authority should be the first civic duty.’
    • ‘Ambiguity breeds distrust and a loss of credibility.’
    mistrust, suspicion, wariness, chariness, lack of trust, lack of confidence, lack of faith
    scepticism, doubt, doubtfulness, dubiety, cynicism
    misgivings, questioning, qualms
    disbelief, unbelief, incredulity, incredulousness, discredit
    View synonyms


  • Doubt the honesty or reliability of; regard with suspicion.

    ‘speculation remained that the Army distrusted the peace process’
    • ‘They suspected his culture, distrusted his politics and opposed his economics.’
    • ‘John Updike once wrote that he distrusted theories that explained men's behaviour in terms of them still being little boys.’
    • ‘But keeping such ill feelings and distrusting the media as a whole is unfortunate.’
    • ‘And that is why I say, yes, it is very much about distrusting women, specifically.’
    • ‘And really, who can blame her for distrusting the world?’
    • ‘There is nothing natural, and human biosocial defaults are always to be distrusted.’
    • ‘Stoppages and disputes had been a problem, and many workers distrusted their managers.’
    • ‘He always distrusted the military and had it intensively spied on.’
    • ‘The party militias are widely distrusted because of their partisan nature.’
    • ‘The radical leaders distrusted the private sector altogether because of its close ties to the West.’
    • ‘Glass touched his lips, and Giles drew back, distrusting it.’
    • ‘Descartes distrusted the senses and the imagination, but the self as res cogitans stands squarely at the centre of his philosophy.’
    • ‘Kelly distrusted them and suspected them of deliberate deception.’
    • ‘‘Mariana,’ I answered after a moment, distrusting the man's jovial manner.’
    • ‘Hughes rarely read books and distrusted people who did - anything she did not already know she saw no point in knowing.’
    • ‘If no one knows what you really think and where you actually stand, they will end up instinctively distrusting you.’
    • ‘Like turncoats throughout history, they were in danger of ending up distrusted by both sides.’
    • ‘My mother distrusted the parenting abilities of all my friends' parents to the point where it was embarrassing.’
    • ‘However, his relentless authoritarianism as Home secretary has led him to be distrusted by many in the party.’
    • ‘Western civilization in particular is distrusted as the modern incarnation of evil.’
    mistrust, be suspicious of, be chary of, be wary of, regard with suspicion, suspect, look askance at, have no confidence in, have no faith in
    be sceptical of, have doubts about, doubt, be unsure about, be unsure of, be unconvinced about, take with a grain of salt, take with a pinch of salt
    have misgivings about, wonder about, question
    not believe, discredit, discount, be incredulous of
    be leery of, smell a rat
    View synonyms