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 Police did not have anyone in custody or any suspect descriptions as of early Tuesday morning. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Blood trail leads police to man's body, two others injured in NE Houston shooting," 23 June 2020 While detectives were interviewing the second victim, patrol officers located the suspect vehicle on John Hawkins Parkway near Merchants Drive and conducted a traffic stop. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "3 teens - including 16-year-old - charged in Sunday-night robbery, assault in Hoover," 22 June 2020 Nicolas Pepe put Mikel Arteta's faltering side ahead on the 68th minute at the Amex Stadium with a stunning strike, but home defender Lewis Dunk capitalized on suspect Arsenal defending to level seven minutes later. Paul Gittings, CNN, "Lewandowski breaks Bundesliga scoring record as Chelsea-bound Werner draws blank," 20 June 2020 Previously: Surveillance video shows suspect in Santa Cruz deputy killing. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: The unanswered questions in the killing of a Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputy," 9 June 2020 The suspect, 32-year-old Steven Carrillo, attempted a carjacking and also was shot during his arrest, Hart said. Time, "FBI Investigating Whether Killing of 2 Officers in California Could Be Linked," 8 June 2020 Police in Portland, Oregon, arrested a 14-year-suspect man on Thursday on suspicion of kicking a man in the head during a protest over the death of George Floyd late last month. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Police arrest 14-year-old suspected of kicking man in the head during George Floyd protests," 5 June 2020 Since the turn of the current century, the Rangers’ track record on upper level draft choices is notably suspect. Dallas News, "Rangers continue history of risky second-round picks with Evan Carter’s selection," 12 June 2020 Some toxic YouTubers and Reddit posters have advocated for boycotting the game for a host of suspect reasons. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The Last of Us Part II Is a Revolutionary Video Game—and an Unbelievably Grim One," 12 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His identify was similar to a suspect in other thefts. cleveland, "Thief has surf and turf on his menu: Middleburg Heights Police Blotter," 26 June 2020 Authorities said police also arrested a suspect in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred in February. Washington Post, "Local Digest: Suspects arrested in unrelated D.C. homicides," 26 June 2020 Police shot and killed a suspect involved in a stabbing incident in the Scottish city of Glasgow, which included one officer injured. Fox News, "Multiple people, including police officer, stabbed in Glasgow; suspect dead, cops say," 26 June 2020 Mauldin said a suspect was taken into custody at the scene and detained for questioning. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Man found stabbed, seriously injured outside Crossplex Village hotel," 25 June 2020 The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command has given few details about Guillén’s disappearance, including if there’s a suspect. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "Volunteer searchers check Central Texas fields and woods, looking for signs of missing GI," 24 June 2020 The Wednesday complaint filed on Williams’s behalf alleges that his Michigan driver license photo — kept in a statewide image repository — was incorrectly flagged as a likely match to a shoplifting suspect. BostonGlobe.com, "Alabama history agency admits perpetuating systemic racism," 24 June 2020 The suspect was identified as an African American male wearing a brown hoodie and blue pants. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Georgia police department sued for excessive force in detaining the wrong person," 24 June 2020 Investigators believe the suspect is a white woman in her 60s, per the police department, though her identity has not been confirmed. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Woman intentionally coughed on 1-year-old after argument with mom over social distancing," 23 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As Ribbs knows, in a sport where his life was constantly threatened and he was rarely called by his first name but referred to as the N-word, there is reason to suspect the worst. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Willy T. Ribbs fears Bubba Wallace will become NASCAR’s sacrificial lamb," 25 June 2020 According to Tommy Thompson, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, police suspect 43-year-old Jeffrey Michael Rhine of murdering his girlfriend, 58-year-old Lori Williams. Alana Minkler, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix woman killed Tuesday, police arrest boyfriend on suspicion of murder," 25 June 2020 DiPietro, the sheriff’s office spokesman, declined to comment Monday on whether authorities suspect foul play in the case. oregonlive, "Allyson Watterson disappearance: Search continues at site where remains were found," 22 June 2020 McClimans said police don't suspect speed or impairment to be causes of the crash. Alana Minkler, azcentral, "84-year-old pedestrian fatally struck in Chandler crash near Ray and Alma School," 18 June 2020 That’s what led researchers to suspect that the February cases of COVID-19 in Washington state were linked to the first case in January. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Flawed COVID hypothesis may have saved Washington from being NYC," 28 May 2020 But a handful of scientists have started to suspect otherwise. Quanta Magazine, "Out-of-Sync ‘Loners’ May Secretly Protect Orderly Swarms," 21 May 2020 Her parents didn’t suspect that their daughter was interested in women. NBC News, "Cara Delevingne on her pansexuality and what pride means to her," 17 Feb. 2018 Others suspect Samsung will find some other way to safeguard the Lee family’s control. Sohee Kim, Bloomberg.com, "Samsung Billionaire’s Fate at Risk Despite Role in Virus Fight," 14 June 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

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suspect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspect. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for suspect

suspect

adjective
How to pronounce suspect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of suspect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not able to be trusted : causing feelings of doubt or suspicion

suspect

noun
How to pronounce suspect (audio)

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
How to pronounce suspect (audio)

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
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suspect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suspect

Spanish Central: Translation of suspect

Nglish: Translation of suspect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suspect for Arabic Speakers

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