sus·pi·cion | \sə-ˈspi-shən \

Definition of suspicion 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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


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

Definition of suspicion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

chiefly dialectal

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of suspicion in a Sentence


There has long been a suspicion that the painting is a fake. I thought the water might be making us sick, and my suspicions were confirmed by the lab tests. The note aroused her suspicions that he was having an affair. I have a sneaking suspicion that those cookies aren't really homemade. The new policies are regarded by many with suspicion. His story has raised some suspicion. I have my suspicions about his motives.


no one will ever suspicion that I'm the one who pulled the prank
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wisconsin law states that someone arrested under suspicion of domestic violence cannot contact the victim for 72 hours. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man led police on car chase after strangling wife in Franklin, complaint says," 11 July 2018 At least 17 troopers under suspicion for payroll fraud have retired in recent months, and Governor Charlie Baker has publicly pushed the State Retirement Board to aggressively go after the pensions of any who are criminally convicted. Matt Stout,, "Some criminally convicted retirees could keep more of their pensions under new proposal," 4 July 2018 The Ministry of State Security asked her to monitor one of her students, a young woman who came under suspicion because of a sister in China. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, "A North Korean defector paid smugglers to get her family out. China sent them back.," 27 June 2018 Pierce County prosecutors last month charged Robert Washburn, 60 — once under suspicion for killing Welch — with killing Bastian. Stacia Glenn, The Seattle Times, "DNA, used napkin lead police to suspect in Tacoma girl’s 1986 killing," 25 June 2018 The issue has roiled relations with Cuba, which immediately fell under suspicion, and led the United States to expel Cuban diplomats. Author: Steven Lee Myers, Jane Perlez, Anchorage Daily News, "Medical mystery grows as ailment afflicting U.S. envoys is now seen in China," 6 June 2018 After a short foot pursuit, the driver was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence of a drug and felony evading charges. Gary Warth,, "Man arrested after attempting to run over firefighter," 28 May 2018 Border Patrol has the authority to detain and question individuals under reasonable suspicion of being in the country illegally within 100 miles of all U.S. borders, which includes both land boundaries and coastlines. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "No more speaking Spanish at the U.S. border? CBP says not to worry about it," 23 May 2018 His nonprofit was raided last summer by Russian law enforcement, allegedly because Serebrennikov is under suspicion of masterminding an embezzlement plot that caused harm to the state. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "This year’s Cannes Film Festival was a plea against complacency," 18 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of suspicion


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1637, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for suspicion


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about suspicion

Statistics for suspicion

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suspicion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for suspicion



English Language Learners Definition of suspicion

: 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


sus·pi·cion | \sə-ˈspi-shən \

Kids Definition of suspicion

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.



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

Other Words from suspicion

suspicionless adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on suspicion

What made you want to look up suspicion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!