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

The suspect vehicle may be a Toyota Camry with a sunroof. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Video: Baytown police searching for burglary, auto theft suspects," 27 June 2018 Several minutes later State Police were notified by Foxborough Police that the suspect vehicle had crashed on Cedar Street in Foxborough, Procopio said. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Driver who fled from police crashes in Foxborough," 20 June 2018 The Sheriff's Office investigation found a possible suspect vehicle abandoned near the Prescott Valley Civic Center, officials said. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Suspect in Prescott Valley shooting later found shot, officials say," 12 June 2018 Video shows flames consuming the suspect vehicle after the crash that witnesses said forced a desperate effort to pull people to safety, CBS San Francisco reported. CBS News, "San Francisco kidnapping, police chase ends in deadly crash," 11 June 2018 Police reviewed hours of surveillance footage and identified a black Dodge Magnum with a neon blue license plate light as the suspect vehicle, according to the news release. Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "She was kidnapped waiting for a rideshare. Now CA police say they've caught the attackers," 4 June 2018 The Clay County Sheriff's Office initially didn't suspect foul play but later called on the assistance of experienced criminal investigators to work the case. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Clay County social worker was at girls' home hours before they were found dead," 11 July 2018 The suspect, a white man wearing black shorts and a V-neck, dark blue T-shirt, was seen on surveillance footage, along with the suspect vehicle — a white Dodge Ram hauling a large Big Tex brand flatbed. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Elk Grove police seek driver of truck, big trailer involved in gas station hit-and-run," 10 July 2018 Pruitt’s religion and conservatism forged a bridge to Trump’s base Trump’s religiosity and conservative credentials were always suspect, in belief and in action. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Why Scott Pruitt lasted so long at the EPA, and what finally did him in," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The captain described the suspect, last seen running north from the square, as a light-skinned black male, 6 feet tall, with a medium build. Philly.com, "Philadelphia developer stabbed to death near Rittenhouse Square," 13 July 2018 The suspect, who had been reported to police prior to the stabbing as acting erratically, was fatally shot within minutes of the stabbing, and the entire situation unfolded just 200 yards from the set of Haunt. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Real-Life Horror Hits Indie Film Set," 13 July 2018 Yet the real suspect was later identified as army veteran Micah Johnson. CBS News, "Man wrongly identified as suspect in 2016 attack sues Dallas police," 12 July 2018 No suspects were identified and the case went cold. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Single fingerprint helps crack decades-old cold case," 12 July 2018 The suspect has been identified as 32-year-old Alejandro Alvarez, a Whittier resident. Brittny Mejia, latimes.com, "Whittier police search for man accused of attacking woman with a chainsaw," 12 July 2018 Privacy - Terms Once officers arrived, the suspect, identified by Tallahassee police as Jason White, was found with the .40 caliber gun and other goods from 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 The suspect was identified by the Sheriff's Office as Elijah D. Carter, 26, of Kansas City. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Man tried to hold up a gas station, but one customer had a gun, Missouri sheriff says," 10 July 2018 Neither the wrecker owner or the suspect were identified by police. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Police: Carjacking suspect kills owner, leads pursuit to Sugar Land," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kaliuzhna said her screener suspected someone else in Ukraine was supporting her financially, making her a security risk. CBS News, "Army recruit promised pathway to citizenship faces uncertain future," 9 July 2018 Cardenas is suspected of shooting two men on July 8, at about 9:06 p.m., near Bethany Home Road and 67th Avenue, Smith said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Police: Suspect in Glendale shootings arrested after fleeing to Texas," 13 July 2018 As much of the discussion about Greta Gerwig’s film Lady Bird demonstrated, when women make art, there’s a tendency to suspect that their source of inspiration is autobiographical. Katherine Fusco, The Atlantic, "Hereditary and the Monstrousness of Creative Moms," 11 July 2018 No foul play is suspected, the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office said. Samantha Melamed, Philly.com, "Two dead in New Jersey house explosion: 'It was a huge ball of fire'," 7 July 2018 Police said foul play is not suspected and neither water nor firearms appear to have been involved, but the deaths are under investigation. Clay County sheriff's Capt. CBS News, "Two young girls found dead outside house in rural Missouri, officials say," 4 July 2018 The statement said the couple were suspected of planning to bomb a gathering on Saturday of the Mujahedeen Khalq, or People’s Mujahedeen, a group that advocates the overthrow of the Iranian leadership. Aurelien Breeden, New York Times, "Couple Is Charged in Plot to Bomb Iranian Opposition Rally in France," 2 July 2018 The attorney general said Anaya was suspected of laundering money. latimes.com, "Mexican voters going to the polls in historic elections that have been marred by vote-buying and violence," 1 July 2018 This group of kids band together and create their own murder investigation squad, which apparently leads them to suspecting the killer is a cop, Officer Mackey. refinery29.com, "Summer Of ‘84 Brings Us More ‘80s Thrills Nostalgia For Stranger Things Fans," 1 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

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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Learn More about suspect

Dictionary Entries near suspect

Susian

suslik

susp

suspect

suspectable

suspecter

suspend

Phrases Related to suspect

the usual suspects

Statistics for suspect

Last Updated

1 Sep 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

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Comments on suspect

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