suspect

adjective
sus·​pect | \ˈsə-ˌspekt, sə-ˈspekt\

Definition of suspect 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : regarded or deserving to be regarded with suspicion : suspected investigates suspect employees

2 : doubtful, questionable whose skills are suspect— Peter Vecsey

suspect

noun
sus·​pect | \ˈsə-ˌspekt \

Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

: one that is suspected especially : a person suspected of a crime

suspect

verb
sus·​pect | \sə-ˈspekt \
suspected; suspecting; suspects

Definition of suspect (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to imagine (one) to be guilty or culpable on slight evidence or without proof suspect him of giving false information

2 : to have doubts of : distrust suspects her motives

3 : to imagine to exist or be true, likely, or probable I suspect he's right

intransitive verb

: to imagine something to be true or likely

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Examples of suspect in a Sentence

Adjective

The room had a suspect odor. since she was carrying no cash or credit cards, her claim to the store's detectives that she had intended to pay for the items was suspect

Noun

One suspect has been arrested. She is a possible suspect in connection with the kidnapping. The prime suspect for the food poisoning is the potato salad.

Verb

He's suspected in four burglaries. The police do not suspect murder in this case. The fire chief suspects arson. I suspect it will rain. Call the doctor immediately if you suspect you've been infected. The latest research confirms what scientists have long suspected. I suspect she's not who she says she is. “We haven't done our homework.” “I suspected as much.” I suspected his motives in giving me the money. I have reason to suspect her sincerity when she makes promises like that.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Police did not release suspect information in either case. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "One man killed, second injured in overnight shootings, Baltimore police say," 9 June 2018 The implication was clear: Carrie will be taken down a peg or two — again and again, and professional success was always suspect (a mud puddle ready to sully a princess tutu). Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "Carrie Bradshaw’s Tutu Paradox," 1 June 2018 No information is available about the suspect or suspects in the shooting. Chris Mccrory, azcentral, "Phoenix police investigate shooting at car wash that injured one person," 4 May 2018 That means that companies from Russia, North Korea, Iran, or China — who would, in theory, be suspect to the greatest risk of assisting their governments to develop malicious digital hardware and software — aren’t making that same pledge. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Facebook, Microsoft, and other tech companies pledge to never help governments launch cyberattacks," 17 Apr. 2018 Individuals are morally entitled to earn what the market will bear, and any mechanism that infringes on the natural market distribution is inherently suspect. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "How to Pay College Athletes Without Ruining NCAA Sports," 31 Mar. 2018 Chief Justice Roberts and the four liberal justices held that the police couldn’t seize more than five months of a suspect’s historical cellphone data without a warrant, because most people don’t expect to be ubiquitously tracked in public. Jeffrey Rosen, WSJ, "What We Learn from Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 13 July 2018 For his efforts in apprehending the suspect Crouch, 32, was fired by Academy Sports. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "A man stole a gun from a store, cops say. But what a manager did next got him fired.," 12 July 2018 Houston police are searching for a suspect Thursday night after one person was shot across the street from a movie theater in southwest Houston. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Police search for suspect who shot 1 in southwest Houston," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Oakland County Sheriff's Department doesn't have any suspects in the ongoing investigation. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Vandals spray painted swastikas, racial slurs in Independence Township," 12 July 2018 Ken Wachter, a mathematical demographer at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of the latest study, suspects that prior disputes over the patterns of late-life mortality have largely stemmed from bad records and statistics. Elie Dolgin, Scientific American, "There's No Limit to Longevity, Says Study Reviving Human Life Span Debate," 1 July 2018 The two countries are at loggerheads over issues including the extradition of Turkish coup suspects and the return of two Greek soldiers who’ve been held without charge for months. Ethan Bronner, Bloomberg.com, "Inside the Thwarted Venezuelan Military Coup," 28 June 2018 The Carrollton Texas Police Department published a lighthearted video showing its officers facing off against a bug, slipping while in the pursuit of a suspect, and running into a glass wall. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Texas police department showcases their best bloopers caught on camera," 12 July 2018 The English tourist was eating with her family when one of the suspects asked her a question. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Distraction thieves shown on video stealing from English visitor in Dania Beach hotel," 12 July 2018 The sheriff’s office of Washington County, Ore. has been using it for over a year to catch criminals by comparing their database of 300,000 mug shots to facial scans of potential suspects. Allie Raffa, Fox News, "Controversial Amazon surveillance program gets second chance in Orlando," 12 July 2018 After a brief struggle, at least one of the suspects fired at the rapper, who was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Joe Coscarelli, New York Times, "Second Suspect Arrested in Killing of Rapper XXXTentacion," 11 July 2018 San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said six of seven suspects are in custody and one is outstanding following a lengthy investigation involving his office, the National Park Service and a number of community business organizations. Lauren Hernandez, SFChronicle.com, "Seven ‘high-profile’ graffiti taggers indicted in taggings across San Francisco," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Back in April, the couple hosted a stunning engagement party that some suspected at the time might have been a secret wedding. Kayleigh Roberts, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk Reportedly Had Their Rehearsal Dinner at Jerry Seinfeld's Hamptons Home," 29 Sep. 2018 Already in custody is Dedrick Williams, a 22-year-old tattoo artist suspected of driving an SUV that blocked Onfroy’s vehicle from leaving the dealership. Isaac Feldberg, EW.com, "Second suspect arrested in fatal shooting of rapper XXXTentacion," 11 July 2018 Silva, a Texas native, was the driver of a van with two other women suspected of stealing $700 worth of baby clothes from a Marshalls department store. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Shoplifting suspect shot 4 times in fatal Orlando officer-involved shooting, autopsy shows," 6 July 2018 Prosecutors said he and several others were suspected in at least 27 armed business robberies, including one in Kansas City in which a clerk was shot and wounded. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "Man guilty in pharmacy robbery where friend was killed by police," 28 June 2018 He is also suspected of breaking into a car and a shed elsewhere in the neighborhood that morning, prosecutors said. Jerome Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "Man arraigned for Charlestown home invasion," 28 June 2018 But on Wednesday night, as America celebrated Independence Day, Fox and Marthers celebrated their first time putting a suspected thief on blast. Deanna Boyd, star-telegram, "Video shows suspected thief targeting woman's car. See what happens next," 5 July 2018 At the station, police weighed the drugs found in the vehicle, which totaled 1.054 grams of suspected marijuana. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, "Norridge and Harwood Heights police reports," 13 July 2018 This suspected thief in Abilene did the same thing and lucky for us, it was all caught on tape. Francisca Ortega, Houston Chronicle, "Watch this suspected thief forget where his car is parked," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suspect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of suspect

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1591, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for suspect

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin suspectus, from past participle of suspicere

Verb

Middle English, from Latin suspectare, frequentative of suspicere to look up at, regard with awe, suspect, from sub-, sus- up, secretly + specere to look at — more at sub-, spy

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Learn More about suspect

Dictionary Entries near suspect

Susian

suslik

susp

suspect

suspectable

suspecter

suspend

Statistics for suspect

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suspect

The first known use of suspect was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for suspect

suspect

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of suspect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not able to be trusted : causing feelings of doubt or suspicion

suspect

noun

English Language Learners Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person who is believed to be possibly guilty of committing a crime

: a thing that is thought of as a possible cause of something bad

suspect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of suspect (Entry 3 of 3)

: to think that (someone) is possibly guilty of a crime or of doing something wrong

: to think that (something) is possibly the cause of something bad

: to think that (a crime) has possibly been committed

suspect

verb
sus·​pect | \sə-ˈspekt \
suspected; suspecting

Kids Definition of suspect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to suppose to be true or likely I hid the money where no one would suspect.

2 : to have doubts of : distrust I suspect his reasons for helping.

3 : to imagine to be guilty without proof “And if anyone here suspects us of murder, forget it, we both have … alibis.”— Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game

suspect

noun
sus·​pect | \ˈsə-ˌspekt \

Kids Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person who is thought to be guilty of something

suspect

adjective
sus·​pect | \ˈsə-ˌspekt, sə-ˈspekt\

Kids Definition of suspect (Entry 3 of 3)

: thought of with suspicion Her honesty is suspect.

suspect

adjective
sus·​pect | \ˈsəs-ˌpekt, sə-ˈspekt \

Legal Definition of suspect 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: regarded or deserving to be regarded with suspicion or heightened scrutiny

suspect

noun
sus·​pect | \ˈsəs-ˌpekt \

Legal Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person suspected of a crime also : a person apprehended for but not yet charged with an offense

suspect

transitive verb
sus·​pect | \sə-ˈspekt \

Legal Definition of suspect (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to imagine (one) to be guilty on slight evidence or without proof

2 : to imagine to exist or be probable they had reasonable cause to suspect abuse

History and Etymology for suspect

Adjective

Latin suspectus, from past participle of suspicere to look up at, regard with awe, suspect, from sub- sus- up, secretly + specere to look at

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