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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

FC Cincinnati's defending was suspect on all four goals by D.C. Rodriguez was given too much time and space on the first two goals. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati lashed by Wayne Rooney, DC United in 4-1 loss," 18 July 2019 No additional information, including the circumstances surrounding the shooting or suspect information, has been provided. Jane Morice | Jmorice@cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Man shot, killed in Cleveland’s Union-Miles neighborhood, police say," 7 July 2019 The agency hasn’t developed any suspect information in his shooting death, and his family and friends have raised $20,000 as a reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or people responsible. oregonlive.com, "Police ask for help solving 2017 NE Portland homicide; $20,000 reward offered," 12 June 2019 Police suspect Jamerson pulled out a gun and shot Tang before running from the store. Brieanna J Frank, azcentral, "Police identify suspect in fatal west Phoenix nail salon shooting," 11 June 2019 Socrates became suspect, not only for the actions of some of his associates but because his concepts of individualism seemed too revolutionary in the politically fraught times. National Geographic, "Who was Socrates?," 11 Mar. 2019 Facebook's decision to make its patent filing public is suspect, given the continuing string of high-profile crises rocking the company over the past calendar year. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Facebook Files Patent For Technology That Can Identify Your Family Based on Photos," 16 Nov. 2018 The surviving suspect police did identify, Samuel Mayfield, was wanted on warrants for theft, assault and drug possession. David Warren, Fox News, "Authorities say Texas officer shot during bar robbery dies," 15 Sep. 2018 Dallas police urged residents in the area to be vigilant and report anyone who matches the suspect description to authorities. Dallas News, "Dallas police searching for attacker who fled after rape in Uptown," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No suspects have been identified in connection with the case. Tess Sheets, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando police offer $5,000 reward for information on 2018 homicide," 18 July 2019 No suspects have been named in connection with Roberts-Joseph's death. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "Death of African American history museum founder ruled a homicide," 15 July 2019 No suspect was identified and the name of the victim wasn’t released. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Aurora police investigate Sunday night homicide," 14 July 2019 Now, authorities say, only Levine’s murder remains an enigma, with no suspects arrested or identified and no apparent witnesses to the crime. Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, "Cops cracked 3 Stanford cold case murders. Will DNA help them solve a 4th campus killing?," 14 July 2019 The motive for the shooting is unknown, police said, and no suspects have been identified. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Killer at large after 22-year-old woman found shot in car in east Oak Cliff," 13 July 2019 Her polygraph was never rescheduled, according to the Herald-Press, and no other suspect took such a test. Vandana Ravikumar, USA TODAY, "Texas woman, 84, arrested and charged with murder in husband's 35-year-old cold case," 10 July 2019 No suspects have yet been identified, but evidence was found on the scene, according to DeWees. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Employee found wounded at Eldersburg tile company in targeted shooting, sheriff says," 10 July 2019 Police emphasized that the person or people inside the truck are not suspects, but may have information that would help investigators. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "West Haven police looking for information about person who set dog on fire, pickup truck," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When North Korean invaders swept down into the south, the South Korean police executed thousands of political prisoners and people suspected of sympathizing with North Korea to prevent them from joining the North’s side. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "Excavating a Horror That Some Koreans Wish Would Stay Buried," 5 July 2019 Then, as suspected previously, the Queen arranged long ago to spend a peaceful and private weekend with husband Prince Philip at Sandringham. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Why the Queen Will Not Attend Archie Harrison's Christening This Weekend," 5 July 2019 Racial profiling, or suspecting that someone has committed a crime because of their race, still very much happens today. Christie Marchese, refinery29.com, "When They See Us: What You Can Do About Mass Incarceration," 5 July 2019 Last August, the businessman was found dead of a suspected overdose in his Trump Tower apartment. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Bethenny Frankel Spends Fourth of July in Nantucket with Boyfriend Paul Bernon and Daughter Bryn," 5 July 2019 Birmingham police were conducting a homicide investigation after foul play was suspected in the death of a person Friday morning on the city’s east side. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al.com, "Homicide investigation underway in east Birmingham after dead body found near railroad tracks," 5 July 2019 George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic nominee, may have suspected that he would be demolished by incumbent Richard Nixon. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Democratic Candidates Aren’t on a Winning Track," 4 July 2019 In 2015, the Ferguson Report by the United States Department of Justice put hard numbers to what black residents had long suspected: The police were targeting them with disproportionate arrests, traffic tickets and excessive fines. Ava Kofman, ProPublica, "Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt," 3 July 2019 In late June, a 12-year-old Indiana girl was hospitalized with necrotizing fasciitis that her parents suspect came after a visit to Florida, a a TV station in Indianapolis reported. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida man says he wasn’t in water but flesh-eating bacteria infected him anyway," 3 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about suspect

Dictionary Entries near suspect

Susian

suslik

susp

suspect

suspectable

suspecter

suspend

Statistics for suspect

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suspect

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up suspect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!