I need a word that corresponds to the meaning of "probably wrong" (as said in the title). I can re-phrase my sentence, but I would appreciate it if someone knew of an adjective that fits the statement.

Here's an example of what I mean: "In her utter confusion, she scrawled the [probably wrong] answers on the paper."

  • In her utter confusion, she scrawled random answers on the paper. Oct 20, 2017 at 20:59
  • 1
    Welcome to English Language & Usage. This is a fair question. a possible answer might be "questionable".
    – J. Taylor
    Oct 20, 2017 at 21:35
  • She scrawled her guesses on the paper.
    – Jim
    Oct 20, 2017 at 22:14
  • How about "doubtful"?
    – Xanne
    Oct 20, 2017 at 23:03

2 Answers 2


Takers of multiple choice tests are sometimes advised to “eliminate improbable answers”
(example usage from Barron's Regents Exams and Answers: Earth science-- the physical setting, via GoogleBooks)

not likely to be true or to happen; not probable:
an improbable excuse
(from Cambridge Dictionary)

In the third edition (2003) of Webster's New World Thesaurus By Charlton Laird (also via GoogleBooks), this connection is made between “[Improbable] [and] probably wrong” in its second entry for “doubtful.”

  • 1
    A test taker may wish to eliminate improbable answers, but in a larger context, improbable answers are not necessarily probably wrong; they are just unlikely. Oct 24, 2017 at 1:37
  • @Clare ... Good point! Bringing improbable’s meaning down from “unlikely to be right” (your astute interpretation, which is supported by the definition I cited and which I now share) to something closer to “likely to be wrong” (which was my original take, and what the OP is after) would require (at least) adding “highly” to it, which would no longer be a single word. In fact, regardless of the closest/best underlying adjective (be it improbable/sketchy/random [guesses]/questionable/doubtful/unlikely), maybe OP should consider adding “highly” to it.
    – Papa Poule
    Oct 24, 2017 at 15:09

Consider sketchy:

  1. :of the nature of a sketch :roughly outlined
  2. :wanting in completeness, clearness, or substance :slight, superficial 

    • the details are sketchy
  3. :questionable, iffy

    • got into a sketchy situation
    • sketchy character


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