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

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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 Ratlieff's lawyer, Michael Davis, said the results of the investigation were suspect. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, "Officer who shot protester in the face with rubber bullet 'exonerated,' chief says," 26 Feb. 2021 After receiving their results, several officers complained to the police union that scores from the three-member oral panel were suspect. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "East Hartford settles with police officer who filed human rights complaint," 5 Nov. 2020 The suspect stops abruptly in the middle of the aisle, abandons her cart, and walks back toward the employee. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "Supermarket shopper slaps employee who tried to enforce mask rule, video shows," 12 Feb. 2021 In a separate case, a suspect shot and killed a deputy marshal in Tucson. AZCentral.com, "Arizona ranks No. 1 for shootings by US Marshals Service task forces, investigation shows," 11 Feb. 2021 Police searched for a suspect Friday in a stabbing that sent one man to the hospital following an argument at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station Thursday afternoon, authorities said. Nora Mishanec, SFChronicle.com, "Stabbing on BART platform at El Cerrito Plaza sends one person to hospital," 22 Jan. 2021 After a standoff that lasted several hours, police said the suspect shot himself. Dallas News, "Plano officer wounded at apartment complex; 60-year-old suspect shoots himself after standoff," 11 Dec. 2020 Montgomery police arrested a suspect Thursday on murder charges stemming from the fatal assault of an elderly man. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Montgomery police arrest suspect in murder of elderly man," 4 Dec. 2020 The suspect shot Trinh, 56, and Mihn Nguyen, 47, several times, according to police. David Harris, orlandosentinel.com, "Police release video of suspect in double shooting of well-known Mount Dora business owners; reward increased to $10K," 2 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In neighboring Oakland, a 91-year-old man was shoved onto a sidewalk in Chinatown but survived; the suspect then assaulted two other people, both of whom required hospitalization. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Now is the time to end our long history of anti-Asian racism," 28 Feb. 2021 The New York Times first reported investigators were zeroing in on one suspect in the case; CNN previously reported law enforcement had collected video evidence to identify a handful of potential suspects. Michael Balsamo, USA TODAY, "Federal investigators zero in on suspect who sprayed Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with chemical," 28 Feb. 2021 The suspect pulled a gun and pointed it at the victim. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Argument at Center Point Parkway convenience store ends in deadly shooting," 28 Feb. 2021 The New York Times first reported investigators were zeroing in on one suspect in the case; CNN previously reported law enforcement had collected video evidence to identify a handful of potential suspects. Michael Balsamo, ajc, "AP sources: Feds pinpoint suspect in officer's riot death," 27 Feb. 2021 According to Insider, @spiritsandsuchconsulting had gained approximately 32,000 followers in its final days on the app, and most recent videos shared on the account apparently show the teen suspect and her family. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, "TikTok removes account linked to Pennsylvania teen accused of murdering wheelchair-using sister," 27 Feb. 2021 The suspect was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant. Cheryl Higley, cleveland, "Man charged with drug trafficking at motel: North Ridgeville Police Blotter," 27 Feb. 2021 Hans Christian Wolters: There was a first hint to our suspect in 2013. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Will the discovery of a credible suspect lead to answers in the Madeleine McCann case?," 27 Feb. 2021 In a subsequent statement on its Facebook page, the Stanley Police Department said Winum had initiated a traffic stop, but before the officer could exit his patrol car the suspect got out of his vehicle and opened fire. Claire Colbert, CNN, "A Virginia police officer was fatally shot during a traffic stop and responding law enforcement killed the alleged shooter," 27 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Trump’s account, permanently, dovetails with suggestions from other observers who suspect the social media companies were attempting to curry favor with the Democratic leaders who would take the levers of power after sweeping the 2020 elections. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "French president mocks Facebook and Twitter for hypocrisy about Trump," 4 Feb. 2021 Who would suspect the proper Mrs. Seward of being a dangerous dissident? Dorothy Wickenden, The New Yorker, "The Pre-Civil War Fight Against White Supremacy," 18 Jan. 2021 Ideally, Gertz said, those who suspect someone of being a person of interest should contact the D.C. police or FBI, but all tips are welcomed. Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times, "On social media, amateur digital sleuths try to help track violent Capitol rioters," 17 Jan. 2021 Louisiana surpassed 7,000 probable coronavirus deaths Sunday, a figure which includes deaths that health officials suspect were caused by the virus, but there was no positive test. Staff Report, NOLA.com, "Louisiana coronavirus: 3,156 more confirmed cases, 47 deaths reported Sunday; see latest data," 20 Dec. 2020 Manufacturers who suspect that future politicians may renege on a pledge will not bother to make the investments needed to comply. The Economist, "Free exchange Outright bans can sometimes be a good way to fight climate change," 3 Oct. 2020 But, if public health officials suspect a case of reinfection and have the necessary samples, then Ladner said the union would work to confirm whether a re-infection occurred. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "Novel coronavirus is mutating slowly, but large mutations are possible, Arizona researchers find," 17 Sep. 2020 Carole is fighting back against people who suspect her. Richard Schlesinger, CBS News, "The Tiger King mystery: What Happened to Carole Baskin's former husband Don Lewis?," 9 Sep. 2020 For now, pet owners who suspect their dog is suffering from uveitis should contact their veterinarian, who will help determine the most current and best path of treatment for their furry friend. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, "PET TALK: Turmeric and canine uveitis: Not so far-fetched," 29 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for suspect

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Suspect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspect. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

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Comments on suspect

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