suspect

1 of 3

adjective

sus·​pect ˈsə-ˌspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio)
sə-ˈspekt
1
: regarded or deserving to be regarded with suspicion : suspected
investigates suspect employees
2
: doubtful, questionable
whose skills are suspectPeter Vecsey

suspect

2 of 3

noun

sus·​pect ˈsə-ˌspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio)
: one that is suspected
especially : a person suspected of a crime

suspect

3 of 3

verb

sus·​pect sə-ˈspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio)
suspected; suspecting; suspects

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
He was identified as a suspect after his gun was found near her body, the outlets reported. Liam Quinn, Peoplemag, 13 June 2024 The suspects fled the scene of the mission in a white U-Haul truck. Rocco Parascandola, New York Daily News, 13 June 2024 Marin County sheriff’s deputies arrested a suspect who allegedly robbed a Kentfield store in pursuit of water. Cameron MacDonald, The Mercury News, 13 June 2024 Police are investigating why the suspect had his license plate covered and what was his intent with all the weapons confiscated. Chris Pandolfo, Fox News, 13 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for suspect 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'suspect.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near suspect

Cite this Entry

“Suspect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspect. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

suspect

1 of 3 adjective
sus·​pect ˈsəs-ˌpekt How to pronounce suspect (audio)
sə-ˈspekt
: regarded with suspicion

suspect

2 of 3 noun
sus·​pect ˈsəs-ˌpekt How to pronounce suspect (audio)
: one that is suspected
especially : a person suspected of a crime

suspect

3 of 3 verb
sus·​pect sə-ˈspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio)
1
: to have doubts about
2
: to believe to be guilty without proof
suspect someone of theft
3
: to suppose to be true or likely
I suspect that it will rain

Legal Definition

suspect

1 of 3 adjective
: regarded or deserving to be regarded with suspicion or heightened scrutiny

suspect

2 of 3 noun
sus·​pect ˈsəs-ˌpekt How to pronounce suspect (audio)
: a person suspected of a crime
also : a person apprehended for but not yet charged with an offense

suspect

3 of 3 transitive verb
sus·​pect sə-ˈspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio)
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
Etymology

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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