noun sus·pi·cion \ sə-ˈspi-shən \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of suspicion

1 a : the act or an instance of suspecting something wrong without proof or on slight evidence : mistrust
b : a state of mental uneasiness and uncertainty : doubt
2 : a barely detectable amount : trace
  • just a suspicion of garlic

Examples of suspicion in a Sentence

  1. There has long been a suspicion that the painting is a fake.

  2. I thought the water might be making us sick, and my suspicions were confirmed by the lab tests.

  3. The note aroused her suspicions that he was having an affair.

  4. I have a sneaking suspicion that those cookies aren't really homemade.

  5. The new policies are regarded by many with suspicion.

  6. His story has raised some suspicion.

  7. I have my suspicions about his motives.

Recent Examples of suspicion from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suspicion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of suspicion

Middle English suspecioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin suspicion-, suspicio, from suspicere to suspect — more at suspect

Synonym Discussion of suspicion

uncertainty, doubt, dubiety, skepticism, suspicion, mistrust mean lack of sureness about someone or something. uncertainty may range from a falling short of certainty to an almost complete lack of conviction or knowledge especially about an outcome or result.
    • assumed the role of manager without hesitation or uncertainty
doubt suggests both uncertainty and inability to make a decision.
    • plagued by doubts as to what to do
dubiety stresses a wavering between conclusions.
    • felt some dubiety about its practicality
skepticism implies unwillingness to believe without conclusive evidence.
    • an economic forecast greeted with skepticism
suspicion stresses lack of faith in the truth, reality, fairness, or reliability of something or someone.
    • regarded the stranger with suspicion
mistrust implies a genuine doubt based upon suspicion.
    • had a great mistrust of doctors




Definition of suspicion

suspicioned; suspicioning play \sə-ˈspi-sh(ə-)niŋ\
chiefly dialectal

Examples of suspicion in a Sentence

  1. no one will ever suspicion that I'm the one who pulled the prank

First Known Use of suspicion

circa 1637

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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SUSPICION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of suspicion for English Language Learners

  • : a feeling that someone is possibly guilty of a crime or of doing something wrong

  • : a feeling that something bad is likely or true

  • : a feeling of doubt

SUSPICION Defined for Kids


noun sus·pi·cion \ sə-ˈspi-shən \

Definition of suspicion for Students

1 : an act or instance of suspecting or the state of being suspected
  • The elderly man was above suspicion.
2 : a feeling that something is wrong : doubt
  • I have my suspicions about him.

Law Dictionary


noun sus·pi·cion

legal Definition of suspicion

: the act or an instance of suspecting something : a mental state usually short of belief in which one entertains a notion that something is wrong or that a fact exists without proof or on slight evidence — see also reasonable suspicion



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very hard to disturb or upset

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