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

Companies seeking new leadership need to quash their automatic suspicion of any candidate who brings a little flash and sizzle to the party. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Goodbye Swaggering CEOs; Hello Mr. Rogers," 3 Nov. 2018 Our suspicions were raised by the game's beta FAQ, which went live on Monday and included many mentions of the store and launcher for the game's Windows version... but no mention of Steam. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "War changes: Fallout 76 is series’ first in a decade to skip Steam," 7 Aug. 2018 But what good does that do when you’ve been given license to experience your most embittered suspicions as cosmic wisdom, and liberty to define your own truth from a drop-down menu of superstition and conspiracy? Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 That morning, the janitor pulled his wife aside to the bedroom, away from the children, to whisper his suspicion. Paul Collins,, "What lies in the lab: The gruesome murder at Harvard that transfixed New England," 11 July 2018 My suspicion is that the more practical insights will come from thinking of ways to avoid mental fatigue in the first place, like the mental taper concept. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Here’s What We Know About Mental Fatigue," 10 July 2018 With his suspicions confirmed, Soffer tipped off the feds, setting off an investigation. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "Fake sultan's scam of a Miami billionaire fizzled after reckless Ferrari drive, pork meals," 6 July 2018 Other defectors, including a woman named Mildred Banks, went to police with their suspicions. Jeff Truesdell,, "Murderous Religious Cult Leader Dispatched 'Death Angels' to Punish Those Who Crossed Him," 22 June 2018 There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support his claims and those of thousands of others, but there is no smoking gun, no foolproof study confirming their suspicions. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "For Veteran John Kirchner, It's 40 Years And Counting," 11 June 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

13 Nov 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).


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!