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

No arrests have been made, and no suspect information was available late Sunday night. Bay City News, The Mercury News, "San Francisco homicide: Two people shot in parked car," 9 Sep. 2019 Authorities aren’t revealing further suspect information, but a police spokesperson says there is an indication that the victim and the shooter knew each other. oregonlive.com, "Man grazed and shooter flees after gunfire in NE Portland motel," 25 Aug. 2019 If this had been an actual Blue Alert, details of the incident would be included on this alert, along with any photos, suspect information, vehicle information and any information pertinent to public awareness and public safety. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: Amber Alert for cops in danger makes its test debut in Minnesota," 15 Aug. 2019 There is no other suspect information at this time. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "1 man shot in Oakley with life-threatening injuries," 6 Aug. 2019 Cleveland police did not provide additional information, including circumstances surrounding the shooting or suspect information. Jane Morice | Jmorice@cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Man shot in face in Cleveland’s Edgewater neighborhood, police say," 21 July 2019 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was in the area at the time of the crash, did not suspect foul play. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Helicopter Crashes Into NYC High-Rise, Causes Two-Alarm Fire," 10 June 2019 Two of the murders were domestic-related and police have released suspect lookout information, Johnson said. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "52 shot, 10 killed in gang-fueled weekend violence in Chicago," 3 June 2019 Residents are advised to hang up on the prankster and call Kitsap1 at 360-337-5777 to verify suspect information. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "No, your street name isn’t changing to Cannabis Way: Prank calls have Kitsap County abuzz," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The alleged suspects range in age from 19 to 63 years old. Lauren Del Valle, CNN, "Law enforcement seize enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people," 30 Aug. 2019 The protests were set off by extradition legislation that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial and expanded to the general concern that China is chipping away at the rights of Hong Kong residents. NBC News, "Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong, others arrested," 30 Aug. 2019 And beyond getting in, is there potential for a legitimate title contender from beyond the usual suspects? George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Why college football needs new blood to break through current playoff blockade," 30 Aug. 2019 The protests were set off by extradition legislation that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial and expanded to general concerns that China is chipping away at the rights of Hong Kong residents. Ken Moritsugu, Anchorage Daily News, "Hong Kong democracy activists arrested, anniversary protest march banned," 30 Aug. 2019 Back in June, a plea went out for any video surveillance from homeowners on the southside of Houston Street, particularly in the Circle Drive, Williams, and Truman streets area to help identify the suspect. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Cleveland police nab alleged burglary suspect," 30 Aug. 2019 Police tracked down the the suspect and took him into custody at about 8:40 p.m. for a mental health evaluation. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "14-year-old arrested after shooting threat on Gunn High School," 30 Aug. 2019 The protests were set off by extradition legislation that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial and expanded to general concerns that China is chipping away at the rights of Hong Kong residents. Ken Moritsugu, chicagotribune.com, "Hong Kong democracy activists arrested, Saturday protest march banned," 30 Aug. 2019 The five suspects have both military and civilian lawyers who are paid by the Pentagon. Carol Rosenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Trial for men charged with plotting 9/11 attacks is set for 2021," 30 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many saw the extradition bill, which would have allowed some Hong Kong suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, as an example of Hong Kong’s autonomy eroding since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Time, "Conflict Breaks Out in Hong Kong Mall Amid Counter Protests," 14 Sep. 2019 Starting in March, the demonstrators originally took to the streets against an law that would allow suspected criminals to be extradited to mainland China. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "Hong Kong protesters form human chain as government offers concessions," 13 Sep. 2019 No single substance or product has been pinpointed, but the leading suspected cause is chemical exposure. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Pick up a joint instead, doc says: Vaping illnesses highlight flawed marijuana regulations," 13 Sep. 2019 All the patients have reported a history of e-cigarette use, so authorities suspect the cause is a chemical exposure. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland reports 15 cases of vaping related illnesses, up from 5 last month," 13 Sep. 2019 Within those, 38 of them have been black hole mergers, two have been neutron star mergers, and one is the suspected first known instance of a merger between a black hole and a neutron star. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "The Gravitational-Wave “Revolution” Is Underway," 12 Sep. 2019 Hours after a woman was found dead in an Ocala home early Wednesday, her suspected killer turned up 400 miles away in the Florida Keys with serious burns after flames engulfed his SUV and burned a waterfront mansion, deputies said. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida murder suspect airlifted after flames engulf SUV, burn waterfront mansion," 12 Sep. 2019 The agency's response to Wyden's initial request for information on the suspected data collection, which the senator made in November 2017, was delivered in a letter from high-ranking DHS official Christopher Krebs in March 2018. Tucker Reals, CBS News, "Israel calls claim it put "StingRay" surveillance devices near White House a "blatant lie"," 12 Sep. 2019 Those who suspect credit or banking information may have been compromised are asked to file an online police report at www.coralsprin.gs/report. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "City warns water bill payments compromised," 12 Sep. 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

15 Sep 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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