(to) mistrust vs. (to) distrust

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ibex
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(to) mistrust vs. (to) distrust

Beitrag von ibex »

Hello,

is "mistrust" or "distrust" more common? Is any one of these versions more formal than the other or can they be used absolutely synonymously?

Thanks,
ibex




Keswick
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Re: (to) mistrust vs. (to) distrust

Beitrag von Keswick »

You're using both however the two words are not interchangeable!

You distrust a person based on either reliable information or your own experience.
However mistrust as a word is used when you generally feel uneasy with someone but the feeling is not based on your own experience.

Hope that helps.
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ibex
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Re: (to) mistrust vs. (to) distrust

Beitrag von ibex »

That's very interesting indeed, for although I looked it up in dictionaries, I couldn't find out about it. Thank you! :-)

Keswick
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Re: (to) mistrust vs. (to) distrust

Beitrag von Keswick »

I don't think there are different words for it in German. In German there is only "misstrauen" which just doesn't quite catches the overall meaning. So sometimes it is helpful to look into definition dictionaries rather than into English-German ones ;-)
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ibex
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Re: (to) mistrust vs. (to) distrust

Beitrag von ibex »

Hello Keswick,

yes, you're absolutely right. As I don't own a real English-English dictionary, I always turn to the Cambridge Dictionary onine in such cases.
But I couldn't find any differentiation there: "to mistrust - to have doubts about the honesty or abilities of someone"
"distrust - the feeling of not trusting someone or something".

There is no entry for the verb "to distrust".
(http://dictionary.cambridge.org/diction ... q=mistrust
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/diction ... q=distrust)

Thank you anyway for making it clear to me :freu:. I really appreciate the friendly community here.

ibex

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