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 An argument over a mask at a Georgia supermarket Monday ended with a suspect opening fire inside the shop, killing a cashier and wounding a sheriff’s deputy, authorities said. NBC News, 15 June 2021 However, his combination of poise and skills could gouge a suspect defense if Penn State puts more weapons on the field. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 14 June 2021 Thomas asks a question for the first time in three years during arguments in Flowers v. Mississippi, a case that centers on a prosecutor with a history of discriminating against black jurors during murder trials for suspect Curtis Flowers. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 13 June 2021 The issue of microfiber pollution has made synthetics even more suspect to sustainability advocates, though natural fibers carry their own significant environmental footprint. Marc Bain, Quartz, 11 June 2021 This justification for a return to a physical workplace appears suspect when offered by leaders who show little interest in the other more challenging cultural triggers. Kathy Miller Perkins, Forbes, 3 June 2021 The assertion that the press was too quick to disdain the lab-leak theory because it was touted by ideologically suspect sources — Trump and senators Tom Cotton and Rand Paul, among others — overlooks a few pertinent factors. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 The predictable happened as members of the Dodgers went into the stands to confront anyone and everyone who looked suspect. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 27 May 2021 In fact such coordination makes censorship even more suspect. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 27 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The suspect fled the scene and his current whereabouts are unknown. Fox News, 16 June 2021 The suspect then fled the property and remains at-large. al, 16 June 2021 The suspect fled the location before police arrived on the scene. Amaris Encinas, The Arizona Republic, 15 June 2021 The woman fought him off, and the suspect fled, the sergeant said. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, 15 June 2021 The suspect fled the scene and law enforcement officers continued to search for him on Tuesday. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 15 June 2021 The perception that a suspect is armed is more likely to draw a show of force from police. Washington Post, 2 June 2021 The confrontation led to an officer firing at the vehicle the suspect fled the scene in, according to police. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 2 June 2021 Captain Matthew Hammer said one suspect was armed with a handgun and another was armed with an AR-15 style rifle. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 1 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On the flip side, researchers suspect that American mothers’ collective unhappiness in turn exacerbates their babies’ grumpy temperament. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 The scientists suspect that between 7,500 and 10,600 mature sequoias were lost in the blaze, including the globe’s ninth largest sequoia — the King Arthur tree —based on estimates derived from satellite images and forest modeling. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 June 2021 Sri Lankan authorities suspect the fire was caused by a leak from the ship's containers, which were carrying 25 tons of nitric acid. BostonGlobe.com, 1 June 2021 Scientists suspect the anoles evolved this tactic to breathe underwater while escaping predators and foraging for food. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 May 2021 Police in San Bruno suspect the mountain lion was lured into the home by several large game taxidermy heads that were affixed to the home’s inside walls. Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2021 Police suspect arson and later found hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside. CBS News, 27 May 2021 The regulation specific to automakers suggests the 2017 law omitted car companies, and some analysts suspect the April restrictions were drafted with Tesla in mind. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 26 May 2021 As for the relationship now established between Thile and the CYO, both suspect it’s far from over. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 24 May 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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Statistics for suspect

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Suspect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspect. Accessed 18 Jun. 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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