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

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

One of those arrested was Thomas Renckley, 31, who was led out of his Jacksonville home in handcuffs Thursday on suspicion of running a drug house. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "DEA crackdown across Florida nets 300 arrests, heroin, opioid pills and yacht," 1 Sep. 2019 Thomas’ suspension stems from his arrest for speeding and on suspicion of the possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Allen County, Kansas in January. oregonlive, "Kansas City and former Oregon Duck De’Anthony Thomas suspended one game by the NFL," 1 Sep. 2019 Wong also is being investigated on suspicion of organizing it. Washington Post, "Latest: Trump: Trade war makes China cautious in Hong Kong," 30 Aug. 2019 Wong also is being investigated on suspicion of organizing it. NBC News, "Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong, others arrested," 30 Aug. 2019 The man has been identified as Anthony Mahr, 22, of Chico, who was reported missing on Aug. 20 by Brentston Rhodes after Rhodes was arrested on suspicion of burglary. Jake Hutchison, The Mercury News, "Body found by fisherman identified as missing Northern California man," 30 Aug. 2019 Officers tried to stop the driver of a red Acura Integra on suspicion of running a stop sign and a red light in the area of White Avenue and Arrow Highway about 8:50 p.m., La Verne police Sgt. Los Angeles Times, "Two drivers killed as police pursuit ends in violent crash in La Verne," 30 Aug. 2019 The tanker — once known as the Grace 1, and renamed the Adrian Darya-1 — had been detained in Gibraltar for weeks on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by trying to transport oil to Syria. New York Times, "U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Wandering Iranian Oil Tanker," 30 Aug. 2019 Backman, 59, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor criminal mischief and harassment, a violation-level offense like a traffic ticket. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "Former Mets player Wally Backman arrested after alleged domestic incident," 30 Aug. 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.

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

4 Sep 2019

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 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

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

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!