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 suspicioning (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 Fidel Alejandro Villegas, the police chief of Janos in the state of Chihuahua, was arrested by federal authorities on suspicion of involvement in the Nov. 4 attack in the Sonora state, Reuters reported. Fox News, "Mexico authorities arrest police chief for suspected link to cartel massacre that killed 9 Americas," 28 Dec. 2019 Trump's suspicions about Ukraine manifested in other ways. Anchorage Daily News, "Former White House officials say they feared Putin influenced the president’s views on Ukraine, 2016 campaign," 20 Dec. 2019 Some vaccination campaigns are met with suspicion, hampering efforts to eradicate polio, for example. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Experimental vaccine patch embeds invisible dots under the skin, leaving record of immunization," 18 Dec. 2019 Following Melgoza’s death, police arrested brothers Rony Aristides Castaneda Ramirez, 28, and Josue Daniel Castaneda Ramirez, 19, on suspicion of killing Melgoza, according to Chino Police. Robyn Merrett,, "Calif. Newlywed Beaten to Death at His Wedding Reception Hours After Saying 'I Do'," 17 Dec. 2019 After a brief explosion of media love, followed by three grueling months in the mud pit of wrongful suspicion, Jewell was exonerated. Michael Phillips,, "Trading sex for scoops is just another day at the newspaper office, according to Clint Eastwood and ‘Richard Jewell.’ It’s the oldest movie trick in the book.," 10 Dec. 2019 In 2017, Kyle was arrested on suspicion of murder in the death of Renard Smith, 29. Ashley Mcbride,, "Police identify 26-year-old father killed in shooting at upscale San Antonio mall," 9 Dec. 2019 There is also a suspicion, as Fors points out, that people with ethical or personal problems are banished to the country. Timothy Baker, Quartz at Work, "The special kind of narcissism that makes city people feel superior," 27 Nov. 2019 Evans always seemed to elicit a spectacular array of reactions in people: admiration, fascination, utter suspicion, repulsion, but rarely did anyone seem to feel neutral about him. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "The Profane Originality of Robert Evans, Hollywood's Most Unapologetic Gatsby," 2 Nov. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for suspicion

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suspicion.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for suspicion


How to pronounce suspicion (audio)

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

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Comments on suspicion

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