These nouns refer to the condition of being unsure about someone or something. Uncertainty, the least forceful, merely denotes a lack of assurance or conviction: I regarded my decision with growing uncertainty.Doubt and dubiety imply a questioning state of mind: “Doubt is part of all religion” (Isaac Bashevis Singer). On this point there can be no dubiety.Skepticism generally suggests an instinctive or habitual tendency to question and demand proof: “A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic” (James Russell Lowell). Suspicion is doubt as to the innocence, truth, integrity, honesty, or soundness of someone or something: His furtiveness aroused my suspicions.Mistrust denotes lack of trust or confidence, as in a person's motives, arising from suspicion: The staff viewed the consultant's hasty recommendations with mistrust.
The difficulties in the way of solving it are very great, and up to the present time the best authorities are not agreed as to the result, the effect of half a century of research having been merely to reduce the uncertainty within continually narrower limits.