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

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 Iran's foreign minister described the attacks as highly suspect, given the timing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meeting in Tehran with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. CBS News, "Iran "responsible" for tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman, Pompeo says," 13 June 2019 Scientists suspect eyespots first evolved in Jurassic lacewings and then a second time in modern butterflies. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Here Are 12 Things You Might Miss in the Smithsonian’s New Fossil Hall," 7 June 2019 Anchorage police hadn't released many details about the shooting by Tuesday evening, including any suspect descriptions. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "After a stray bullet wounded their toddler, an Anchorage couple copes with fear," 30 May 2018 Police do not know how many people were involved and have no suspect descriptions, according to Capt. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thieves rummage through at least 19 cars in one night in Oak Creek," 21 May 2018 Theft Police arrested a female shoplifting suspect June 10 in the 2700 block of Pearland Parkway. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland police arrest 6 on DWI charges," 28 June 2019 Mesa police identified one suspect in a traffic stop that escalated into police shooting the other suspect Wednesday night. Claire Rafford, azcentral, "Police: Suspect in officer-involved shooting identified, one still in hospital," 13 June 2019 Descriptions of the suspect’s vehicle matched in all three homicides and led investigators to a house on Trefny Avenue, where SWAT members captured the man without further incident, Lopinto said. Emily Lane, nola.com, "Authorities ID man accused in 2 Metairie shootings that killed 3 in 24 hours," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No suspects have been identified in the case, police said. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Man killed in shooting on Cleveland’s East Side, police say," 5 July 2019 The suspect, 27-year-old Michael Adams, was arrested and booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on suspicion of murder. Rocky Baier, azcentral, "17-year-old male dies after stabbing at Peoria Circle K on July 4th," 4 July 2019 The suspect was arrested in a Wal-Mart parking lot at 2 p.m., shortly after leaving the home. Fox News, "Truck driver accused of killing wife, 3 other family members in Ohio arrested in Connecticut," 3 July 2019 The suspect in the fatal Becker County hit-and-run crash between a side-by-side utility vehicle and a car was arrested late Monday, according to a news release from the Becker County sheriff’s office in northwestern Minnesota. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Suspect arrested in fatal hit-and-run of UTV driver in northwest Minnesota," 2 July 2019 The suspect was identified as Charles McIntyre, 34. Jennifer Edwards Baker And Lauren Minor, Cincinnati.com, "Man arrested after 20 rounds fired, SWAT standoff in NKY," 1 July 2019 The suspects were identified as Jose Silvestre Chavarrieta-Gusman, 18; Fredy Moreno-Gil, 26; Gabriel Salazar-Bautista, 35; Jose Manuel Aviles-Diaz, 26; and Moris Gudiel Campos-Gomez, 39. Faith Karimi And Jamiel Lynch, CNN, "5 charged in human trafficking case after 18 immigrants are rescued in Houston," 29 June 2019 The suspect is described as a man in his mid-20s who's 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a medium build. Tanya Wildt, Detroit Free Press, "Suspect sought in shooting of teen, adult in Detroit," 29 June 2019 The suspect is described as a Hispanic man, in his late 20s to early 30s, with an athletic build. Lavendrick Smith, Dallas News, "Police looking for man who assaulted woman walking dog in Uptown Dallas," 28 June 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.

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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

7 Jul 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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WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

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