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

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is offering a reward of up to $61,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and conviction in the wounding of one of its agents. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, "Shooting of ATF agent in Chicago prompts manhunt for suspect, $61G reward offer," 5 May 2018 Witness accounts and amateur cellphone videos that captured the Toronto rampage and the suspect’s arrest depicted a sequence of horrific scenes. Dan Bilefsky And Ian Austen, New York Times, "Toronto Van Attack Suspect Expressed Anger at Women," 24 Apr. 2018 Some type of confrontation took place and the victim shot at the suspect multiple times, hitting him at least once, Miller said. City News Service, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Police say homeowner shot, killed man breaking into his car," 11 Mar. 2018 The suspect description is a black male, in his 50s with vitiligo (discoloration) on half his face. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa police chase down thieves who stole woman's purse at grocery store," 1 Mar. 2018 The suspect car accelerated and led police on a chase that reached speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. Jeff Piorkowski/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Fight breaks out over use of pool table: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 23 Feb. 2018 Intel’s vision of one cable to rule them all was suspect when Intel announced Thunderbolt in 2015—in part because that was supposed to be USB’s role. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "The new USB4 spec promises a lot: Thunderbolt 3 support, 40Gbps bandwidth, and less confusion," 5 Mar. 2019 High-concept, high-craft Plenty more happens in The Guilty, all from this sterile-looking call center: Asger tries coordinating police chases to snag suspect vehicles. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "The Guilty review: Even in 2018, a simple phone can be utterly thrilling," 21 Oct. 2018 The suspect’s social media posts were very supportive of Trump and downright threatening and vitriolic of Democrats as well as Republicans who were critical of Trump. German Lopez, Vox, "Trump: the media never blamed Obama for the Charleston church shooting," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All three suspects were issued summonses to appear in Taunton District Court. BostonGlobe.com, "New England news in brief," 13 July 2018 However, Amazon ultimately did comply when the suspect and the owner of the Echo in the Arkansas case consented. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Amazon must give up Echo recordings in double murder case, judge rules," 10 Nov. 2018 However, our desire to provide additional information had to be balanced against the risk that, if spread at the time, the news would alert the suspect and impede the law enforcement investigation. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Why the FBI Mysteriously Closed That New Mexico Observatory," 17 Sep. 2018 The firefighter pushed the suspect up against a wall and held him there until officers got inside and arrested the man, Specht said. City News Service, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Oceanside firefighter escapes injury in knife attack," 6 July 2018 The Milwaukee Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying suspects and a vehicle wanted in connection with a recent rash of pellet gun attacks. Ahmed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee police seek help in identifying suspects in pellet gun attacks," 3 July 2018 Evidence now suggests that strange symptoms experienced by US embassy staff in Havana and China may have been the result of attacks with a microwave—and Russian agents are now the most likely suspects behind the attacks. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "US Intelligence thinks Russia may have microwaved US embassies in Cuba, China," 11 Sep. 2018 Sheriff Mike Williams confirmed there were no other suspects involved. Vogue, "At Least Four People Are Dead After at a Mass Shooting in Jacksonville, Florida," 26 Aug. 2018 The usual suspects were in attendance: Bethanny Frankel, Ramona Singer, Tinsley Mortimer, Dorinda Medley, and the cabaret countess herself, Luann De Lesseps. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "The Real Housewives of New York City," 21 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, this site isn't among the younger suspected rivers, likely coming from around 3.7 billion years ago. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Rivers Flowed Forth on Mars Until 1 Billion Years Ago," 27 Mar. 2019 Many agree that Emily and Olivia will be the two to watch, but Vulture suspects Emily will be declared the winner. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See if Your 2019 Golden Globe Predictions Match Up With the Projected Winners," 5 Jan. 2019 For instance, the Atomic Energy Commission yanked the security clearance of J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, because of his suspected ties to communism. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Cold War propaganda spread the myth that science isn’t political," 11 Dec. 2018 Some suspect that this could cost them valuable female voters at the polls. Liz Plank, Glamour, "Why Are Men Still Voting Republican?," 31 Oct. 2018 Botswana's military has killed some suspected poachers who illegally crossed the border, a crackdown seen as necessary by some conservationists but criticized by neighboring countries. Christopher Torchia, Fox News, "Botswana hits back at critics on anti-poaching policy," 9 Sep. 2018 As people around the world fall victim to The Burn, AR researchers begin to suspect a pattern. The Verge, "Better Worlds," 5 Dec. 2018 All of this might lead one to suspect that Burnham had a difficult childhood. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "How Bo Burnham Turns Anxiety Into a Work of Art," 12 July 2018 In keeping with a long-standing policy of not commenting on countries’ internal affairs, India declined to take a position on the Washington Post columnist’s killing by suspected Saudi agents. Ashok Sharma, The Seattle Times, "Saudi crown prince backs India’s fight against terrorism," 20 Feb. 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.

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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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Learn More about suspect

Dictionary Entries near suspect

Susian

suslik

susp

suspect

suspectable

suspecter

suspend

Statistics for suspect

Last Updated

26 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suspect

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

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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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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

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