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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Both youths were booked into San Mateo County’s juvenile hall on suspicion of murder, East Palo Alto Police Interim Chief Jeff Liu said in a statement Friday. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 June 2022 Patrick O’Brien, a 37-year-old San Diego resident, was arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held without bail in county jail. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 June 2022 Tennessee’s Republican Secretary of State was arrested on Friday night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after leaving a music festival. Andrew Mark Miller, Fox News, 18 June 2022 The drowning happened at the home of a babysitter, Cynthia Gaddy, 49, who was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment. Haleigh Kochanski, The Arizona Republic, 17 June 2022 However, hours before that court appearance, Miller was arrested again after an altercation at a home in Pāhoa on the Big Island of Hawaii on suspicion of throwing a chair and injuring a woman. Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2022 Des Champs was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of trespassing and disorderly conduct, police said. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, 14 June 2022 The bar’s managers are under criminal investigation on suspicion of hindering Covid prevention measures, a Beijing Public Security Bureau spokesman told a news conference Tuesday. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, 14 June 2022 The Duck was raided frequently, and one night 79 patrons were arrested on suspicion of narcotics, according to Steele. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Time Traveler

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

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Suspicion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for suspicion


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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