suspect

adjective
sus·​pect | \ ˈsə-ˌspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) , 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 How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

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

suspect

verb
sus·​pect | \ sə-ˈspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) \
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

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 No suspect information was immediately available. — Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates. Matt Bruce, ajc, 8 Jan. 2022 Police have released photos taken from surveillance video that captured the shooting, but no suspect information has been released and no arrests have been made. NBC News, 23 Nov. 2021 Investigators had no suspect information or vehicle description to release as of 10 p.m. Jen Guadarrama, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Dec. 2021 Kevin Allen, a Portland police spokesperson, said the agency doesn’t yet have suspect information to release. oregonlive, 1 Dec. 2021 Police have released photos taken from surveillance video that captured the shooting, but no suspect information has been released and no arrests have been made. NBC News, 23 Nov. 2021 Police have released photos taken from surveillance video that captured the shooting, but no suspect information has been released and no arrests have been made. Adrian Sainz, ajc, 22 Nov. 2021 Police tweeted that no suspect information was available in the shooting, which took place at Makeda’s Cookie’s near Memphis International Airport. Adrian Sainz, chicagotribune.com, 17 Nov. 2021 Police tweeted that no suspect information was available in the shooting, which took place at Makeda’s Cookie’s near Memphis International Airport. Adrian Sainz, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Highway billboards near Cleveland this week displayed the image of Shane Bartek, a 25-year-old officer who was off-duty when an 18-year-old suspect approached him on Dec. 31 in an apartment building parking lot. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 12 Jan. 2022 The front entrance of a location was damaged as an unknown suspect tried to gain entry and remove currency. Allana Haynes, baltimoresun.com, 10 Jan. 2022 At that point, the suspect or suspects reportedly exited the vehicle and fired shots at Harris. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 10 Jan. 2022 Read more: Oxford school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley heading to trial, bond to be revisited Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or fwitsil@freepress.com. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 8 Jan. 2022 That’s a clearance rate – homicides resolved typically by an arrest or suspect identified -- of about 42%. oregonlive, 6 Jan. 2022 Further information about the crash, victims and suspect was not available. Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2022 Even if Kay hadn't been an immediate suspect based on the actress playing her, the jewelry sales party would've put me on alert. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 4 Jan. 2022 Milwaukee Police continue to seek an unknown suspect. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Gary suspect the bottle took hold when Linda set up that practice in Angola, no longer a successful attorney in the city or respected in legal circles. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Jan. 2022 Conservation groups suspect a hunter pulled the trigger. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 7 Jan. 2022 Environmentalists suspect that climate change may be accelerating when longtime denier Sen. James Inhofe, in what many view as a surprising concession, melts. Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2021 It’s been identified in at least seven people, Pino said, which officials suspect is a fraction of those infected with the variant. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, 28 Dec. 2021 The town expects to get 2,610 and will limit them to residents with an immediate need: Individuals or families that suspect they were exposed or are experiencing symptoms, and individuals who traveled over the holidays and are experiencing symptoms. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, 28 Dec. 2021 Colorado mourns after shooting spree across Denver area leaves 5 dead; suspect also killed. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 28 Dec. 2021 Considering the context, high fever and severe headache might make people suspect infection with the novel coronavirus. Chris Smith, BGR, 22 Dec. 2021 At least 28 people have tested positive for the coronavirus after a holiday party at a Larkspur restaurant, and Marin health officials suspect that the omicron variant might be the cause of the outbreak. Anna Buchmann, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Dec. 2021

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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Time Traveler for suspect

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near suspect

susp

suspect

suspectable

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Statistics for suspect

Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Suspect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspect. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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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 How to pronounce suspect (audio) \
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 How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

Kids Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person who is thought to be guilty of something

suspect

adjective
sus·​pect | \ ˈsə-ˌspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) , 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 How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

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 How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

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 How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on suspect

Nglish: Translation of suspect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suspect for Arabic Speakers

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