sus·​pi·​cion | \ sə-ˈspi-shən How to pronounce suspicion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce suspicion (audio) \

Definition of suspicion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

chiefly dialectal

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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

Noun 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. Verb no one will ever suspicion that I'm the one who pulled the prank
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The suspect, 24-year-old Lorenzo Djuane Bogus, was later arrested on suspicion of murder. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Sep. 2021 McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault. oregonlive, 10 Sep. 2021 The fourth student was arrested on suspicion of vandalism and possession of a weapon off-campus. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 The 48-year-old suspect was booked into the Jefferson County Jail early Friday on suspicion of DUI and reckless murder. Carol Robinson |, al, 10 Sep. 2021 The woman, Karen Garner, 73, was walking home when she was forced to the ground and handcuffed by police June 26, 2020, after she was stopped on suspicion of trying to steal $13.88 worth of items from a Walmart. NBC News, 9 Sep. 2021 Wu was later formally arrested on suspicion of rape. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 8 Sep. 2021 The next day, police tweeted that Rollins was arrested and booked into a Maricopa County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. Amaris Encinas, The Arizona Republic, 8 Sep. 2021 Four years later, in 2017, Samsudeen was arrested at the airport in Auckland on suspicion of planning to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State militant group, which then controlled parts of Syria and Iraq. The New York Times, Arkansas Online, 5 Sep. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for suspicion

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

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Dictionary Entries Near suspicion

suspensory ligament



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Statistics for suspicion

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Suspicion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce suspicion (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on suspicion

Nglish: Translation of suspicion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suspicion for Arabic Speakers


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