Distrust may express simply a lack of confidence; as, I distrust my own judgment; or it may be nearly equivalent to suspect; as, I distrusted that man from the start.
Mistrust and suspect imply that one is almost assured of positive evil; one may distrust himself or others; he suspects others.
Mistrust is now rarely, if ever, used of persons, but only of motives, intentions, etc.Distrust is always serious; mistrust is often used playfully. Compare SUPPOSE. Compare synonyms for DOUBT, n.
Perplexity is active and painful; doubt may be quiescent.
Perplexity presses toward a solution; doubt may be content to linger unresolved. Any improbable statement awakens incredulity. In theological usage unbelief and skepticism have a condemnatory force, as implying wilful rejection of manifest truth. As regards practical matters, uncertainty applies to the unknown or undecided; doubt implies some negative evidence.
Suspense regards the future, and is eager and anxious; uncertainty may relate to any period, and be quite indifferent.
Misgiving is ordinarily in regard to the outcome of something already done or decided; hesitation, indecision, and irresolution have reference to something that remains to be decided or done, and are due oftener to infirmity of will than to lack of knowledge.
Distrust and suspicion apply especially to the motives, character, etc., of others, and are more decidedly adverse than doubt.
Scruple relates to matters of conscience and duty.