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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The suspect, Robert Crimo III, is facing 117 charges for killing seven people and injuring more than 30 others. ABC News, 3 Aug. 2022 Officials said the suspect, Denzel Christopher Allen Fuller, 22, was arrested and charged with murder. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 3 Aug. 2022 Investigators consider the man, identified as 51-year-old Thang Duc Doan, as the only suspect in the deaths of the two women, 42-year-old Kim Nguyen and her daughter, 18-year-old Lam-Anh Tran, according to the Hall sheriff’s office. Chelsea Prince, ajc, 3 Aug. 2022 The suspect, who was later arrested, allegedly demanded money, then shot and killed her. Alecia Reid, CBS News, 3 Aug. 2022 Police found the suspect’s vehicle, which had crashed into a man and a woman at West 52nd Place and South Flower Street, Im said. Gregory Yee, Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 The suspect, who was either bald or had a shaved head, ran from the area. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 1 Aug. 2022 According to a criminal complaint filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Friday, the suspect, Khalid Mehdiyev, was observed by law enforcement officials near a home in Brooklyn on Wednesday and Thursday. Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2022 The agency is probing whether the suspect, federally charged with possession of a firearm that lacked a visible serial number, was there as part of a possible plot to neutralize or assassinate Masih Alinejad, two law enforcement sources said. Ken Dilanian, NBC News, 1 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Officials have recommended the shots be given to people who know or suspect they were exposed to monkeypox in the previous two weeks. Matthew Perrone, ajc, 27 July 2022 The lengthy filing makes clear that prosecutors suspect the defendants in the city’s civil lawsuits may have committed fraud. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 July 2022 Harris didn't specify the meaning behind the tattoo, but fans suspect that the 3 of Hearts card symbolizes the actor's family, which includes husband David Burtka, 47, and their 11-year-old twins Harper Grace and Gideon Scott. Michelle Lee, PEOPLE.com, 21 July 2022 Her talents at this particular game are far greater than all the security experts suspect, and her reasons for playing are more personal than anyone can imagine. Brent Lang, Variety, 21 July 2022 Zurzolo and her team suspect that the virus enters through the nose and travels along to one of the brain’s two olfactory bulbs, which contain tissue that processes smells. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 20 July 2022 Multiple coaches from the league also suspect the conference will add around four teams. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 July 2022 Police suspect Torres-Gonzalez then went to his room, got a gun and shot his roommate. Sam Burdette, The Arizona Republic, 15 July 2022 Officials ask that anyone with information about the fire or suspect to contact KDPS at 269-337-8120 or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100. Kyla Guilfoil, ABC News, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About suspect

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

Cite this Entry

“Suspect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspect. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for suspect

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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