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

Authorities have yet to apprehend the pilots of the suspect drones that disrupted Gatwick flights. Stu Woo, WSJ, "Departures Resume From London Heathrow Following Drone Sighting," 8 Jan. 2019 That’s because the government has been reporting suspect cases without waiting for confirmatory tests. Helen Branswell, STAT, "China may compete with the West for limited opportunities to test Ebola vaccine," 8 June 2018 Here's everyone currently on our Gargoyle King suspect list. 1. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is the Gargoyle King? 6 Theories on the Identity of the Creature Wreaking Havoc on "Riverdale"," 29 Nov. 2018 Dispatch showed nothing in tow logs and deputies were not able to find any witnesses or suspect information. Austen Erblat, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Wellington, Royal Palm Beach area crime log: June 15-30," 13 July 2018 But after his terrible fall from grace (beautifully documented in Rupert Everett’s new movie The Happy Prince), these attitudes were rendered suspect and forced underground. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Presents “Camp: Notes on Fashion” For Its Spring 2019 Exhibition," 9 Oct. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Fox 4 reported the suspect was found dead at the home. Frank Miles, Fox News, "3 Kansas City, Missouri, cops shot; gunman killed in standoff with police, officials say," 2 Oct. 2018 The suspect—the driver, who was using his father’s Didi account—was found dead days later. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Didi Halts Carpool Service Again in China After Passenger Killed," 26 Aug. 2018 Police say the women were seen with David Ramos Contreras, one of three suspects still on the lam. CBS News, "Police seeking 2 women seen with suspect in teen sisters' rape," 5 July 2018 The suspect was found within minutes and surrendered without further violence. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Memorial services begin for Capital Gazette victims; paper provides timeline of the horror," 1 July 2018 Lengthy detentions without bail allow investigators to question suspects intensively about their alleged misdeeds, lawyers say, helping to bring about Japan’s conviction rate of more than 95% for people who are charged with crimes. Phred Dvorak, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn Can Be Held in Jail Until Jan. 11, Tokyo Court Says," 31 Dec. 2018 In the photos, the heavyset suspect with short dark hair is wearing a thick chain necklace, jeans, a dark hoodie and dark-colored T-shirt. Jocelyn Gecker, The Seattle Times, "Authorities launch manhunt after killing of police officer," 26 Dec. 2018 Annnd that she's related to a Jack the Ripper serial killer suspect. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "11 Meghan Markle Headlines From This Year That Are So Ridiculous, You Have to Laugh," 25 Dec. 2018 In October, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) unveiled plans to incorporate facial scans nationwide and the FBI unlocked a suspect's iPhone using FaceID for the first time. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Can Anyone Stop Our Slide into Face-Scanning Dystopia?," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Japan, suspecting that the IWC might never set quotas, has decided to withdraw from the organization instead. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Japan restarting commercial whaling, ignoring global moratorium," 26 Dec. 2018 The $30 cream also includes lanolin, which was suspected to have potential in simulating vernix back when cosmetic chemists first started working on a replica. Marci Robin, Allure, ""Newborn" Cream Claims to Give Adults Baby-Soft Skin With a Surprising Ingredient," 29 Oct. 2018 Different states have announced different initiatives State law in Pennsylvania allows the attorney general to call a grand jury to investigate incidents in which crimes are suspected but no formal charges have been brought. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Even more states have launched investigations into clerical abuse since the Pennsylvania report," 24 Oct. 2018 Another fun fact: His real-life sister Penny Marshall played his wife — or Medusa, as Winnie initially suspects — in the film. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Hardest 'Hocus Pocus' Trivia Quiz You'll Ever Take," 28 Sep. 2018 Woman charged Andrea Paige, New Berlin, also suspected in the sale of heroin to Benjamin Couillard, faces a charge of first-degree reckless homicide/deliver of drugs party to a crime in connection with his death. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Allis man get 6 years in prison for selling heroin that killed 20-year-old," 11 July 2018 Jurors who convicted Donnie Rudd last week of murdering his wife nearly a half-century ago were not told that he was also suspected in the shooting death of an Arlington Heights woman. George Houde, chicagotribune.com, "Donnie Rudd's future after guilty verdict in wife's '73 death: Prison — and another murder charge?," 8 July 2018 Scientists have suspected this ring rain ever since the first photos from the Voyager probes in the 1980s hinted at the process. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Saturn's Rings Are Disappearing," 19 Dec. 2018 Attempting to defy the sanctions, Iran’s leaders shored up the social safety net and arrested hundreds of people suspected of corruptly profiting from the country’s distress. WSJ, "Year of Living Dangerously With Friends and Foes," 17 Dec. 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

20 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on suspect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suspect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suspect

Spanish Central: Translation of suspect

Nglish: Translation of suspect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suspect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on suspect

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