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 Authorities arrested a Phoenix man last weekend in Las Vegas on suspicion of a shooting that killed two people and wounded a third person at a Southern California home in August. Mike Cruz, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix man arrested in connection with California shooting that killed 2, wounded 1," 10 Sep. 2020 In March, a district councilor of the Democratic Party was arrested in the dead of night on suspicion of sedition, marking the first time in decades that the crime had been invoked. Mary Hui, Quartz, "A law that once outlawed insulting the Queen is now being used to stifle speech in Hong Kong," 9 Sep. 2020 Federal agents searched two nursing homes near the city Thursday, one of which had the worst coronavirus outbreak of any in Pennsylvania and was already being investigated by the state on suspicion of criminal neglect. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Eviction problems, student pushback, coastal rental boom: News from around our 50 states," 9 Sep. 2020 My suspicion is that most of the volume load from Hopkins will be thrust on to Fuller. Stephanie Stradley, Houston Chronicle, "Stephanie Stradley's 2020 Texans season preview," 7 Sep. 2020 The law has produced some dramatic scenes, including the arrest of the city’s most prominent pro-democracy newspaper publisher, Jimmy Lai, on suspicion of breaching the law. John Lyons, WSJ, "Hong Kong Protesters Return to Streets Over Postponed Elections," 6 Sep. 2020 Two were arrested on suspicion of shining a laser at officers and a police helicopter. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Protesters decry $750K bail against man jailed on suspicion of pepper spraying police officers," 6 Sep. 2020 Most of those arrested were arrested on suspicion of interfering with a peace officer or disorderly conduct, police said. CBS News, "27 arrested as Portland protests reach 100 consecutive days this weekend," 5 Sep. 2020 In the deeply polarized country, some have turned their suspicion to Hezbollah, which maintains a huge weapons stockpile in the country and dominates its politics. Bassem Mroue, Star Tribune, "'End of the world': Countdown to Beirut's devastating blast," 23 Aug. 2020

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

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suspicion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 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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