suspect

adjective
sus·​pect | \ ˈsə-ˌspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) , sə-ˈspekt \

Definition of suspect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : regarded or deserving to be regarded with suspicion : suspected investigates suspect employees
2 : doubtful, questionable whose skills are suspect— Peter Vecsey

suspect

noun
sus·​pect | \ ˈsə-ˌspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

: one that is suspected especially : a person suspected of a crime

suspect

verb
sus·​pect | \ sə-ˈspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) \
suspected; suspecting; suspects

Definition of suspect (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to imagine (one) to be guilty or culpable on slight evidence or without proof suspect him of giving false information
2 : to have doubts of : distrust suspects her motives
3 : to imagine to exist or be true, likely, or probable I suspect he's right

intransitive verb

: to imagine something to be true or likely

Examples of suspect in a Sentence

Adjective The room had a suspect odor. since she was carrying no cash or credit cards, her claim to the store's detectives that she had intended to pay for the items was suspect Noun One suspect has been arrested. She is a possible suspect in connection with the kidnapping. The prime suspect for the food poisoning is the potato salad. Verb He's suspected in four burglaries. The police do not suspect murder in this case. The fire chief suspects arson. I suspect it will rain. Call the doctor immediately if you suspect you've been infected. The latest research confirms what scientists have long suspected. I suspect she's not who she says she is. “We haven't done our homework.” “I suspected as much.” I suspected his motives in giving me the money. I have reason to suspect her sincerity when she makes promises like that. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The affidavit described how both the victim and the suspect had been in romantic relationships with the same man, and detailed text messages and interviews with tipsters that point to jealousy as a possible motive. Hannah Sarisohn, CNN, 23 May 2022 Preliminary information suggests there was no prior contact between the victim and suspect, Corey said. Byjulia Jacobo, ABC News, 22 May 2022 Capital murder suspect Casey White was apprehended and returned to Alabama. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 22 May 2022 At one extreme, Buffalo mass-murder suspect Payton Gendron is another case study in how the U.S. looks past this problem. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 18 May 2022 In January, the court voted 4-3 to uphold a lower court’s decision to reduce murder suspect Justin DuBose’s bail from $1.5 million to $500,000. cleveland, 18 May 2022 Both the victim and suspect were students at Northwest High School and knew each other, officials said. Dan Morse, Washington Post, 16 May 2022 That account, taken from documents, police accounts and personal writings from the suspect, paints a picture of the nation's latest mass shooter. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, 16 May 2022 Kathy Wheeler lives two doors down from the suspect. Matt Bruce, ajc, 13 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Health officials suspect the virus has been traveling undetected in nonendemic nations for some time — potentially as far back as 2018. Rael Ombuor, BostonGlobe.com, 24 May 2022 Scientists now suspect that most marsquakes are triggered by the planet’s gradually cooling interior, which, eons ago, was hot enough to burp up towering supervolcanoes such as Olympus Mons—the tallest and largest peak in the entire solar system. Joanna Thompson, Scientific American, 24 May 2022 Investigators suspect it was caused by a cargo ship anchor that snagged a 17-mile-long pipeline stretching from an oil platform that operates in federal waters to the Port of Long Beach. Phil Willonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2022 Some observers suspect Musk's obsession with Twitter's bot numbers shows that the bombastic entrepreneur is seeking some justification for backing out of his surprise take over attempt, or is at least angling to negotiate a lower price. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 18 May 2022 Investigators now suspect Boardman was killed in a carjacking gone wrong and his body was dumped across state lines. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 15 May 2022 Local marine biologists suspect that a driving cause is likely noise pollution from warships in the north. Naomi Cohen, NBC News, 13 May 2022 Farmer said researchers suspect the cannons found in the river came from the British ship HMS Savannah and possibly a second ship scuttled at the same time, the HMS Venus. CBS News, 29 Apr. 2022 Western officials suspect that Putin’s declaration of victory may be part of efforts to accelerate Russia’s campaign ahead of its annual Victory Day celebrations on May 9. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suspect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of suspect

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1591, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for suspect

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin suspectus, from past participle of suspicere

Verb

Middle English, from Latin suspectare, frequentative of suspicere to look up at, regard with awe, suspect, from sub-, sus- up, secretly + specere to look at — more at sub-, spy

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Time Traveler for suspect

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near suspect

susp

suspect

suspectable

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Statistics for suspect

Cite this Entry

“Suspect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suspect. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for suspect

suspect

verb
sus·​pect | \ sə-ˈspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) \
suspected; suspecting

Kids Definition of suspect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to suppose to be true or likely I hid the money where no one would suspect.
2 : to have doubts of : distrust I suspect his reasons for helping.
3 : to imagine to be guilty without proof "And if anyone here suspects us of murder, forget it, we both have … alibis."— Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game

suspect

noun
sus·​pect | \ ˈsə-ˌspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

Kids Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person who is thought to be guilty of something

suspect

adjective
sus·​pect | \ ˈsə-ˌspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) , sə-ˈspekt \

Kids Definition of suspect (Entry 3 of 3)

: thought of with suspicion Her honesty is suspect.

suspect

adjective
sus·​pect | \ ˈsəs-ˌpekt, sə-ˈspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

Legal Definition of suspect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: regarded or deserving to be regarded with suspicion or heightened scrutiny

suspect

noun
sus·​pect | \ ˈsəs-ˌpekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

Legal Definition of suspect (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person suspected of a crime also : a person apprehended for but not yet charged with an offense

suspect

transitive verb
sus·​pect | \ sə-ˈspekt How to pronounce suspect (audio) \

Legal Definition of suspect (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to imagine (one) to be guilty on slight evidence or without proof
2 : to imagine to exist or be probable they had reasonable cause to suspect abuse

History and Etymology for suspect

Adjective

Latin suspectus, from past participle of suspicere to look up at, regard with awe, suspect, from sub- sus- up, secretly + specere to look at

More from Merriam-Webster on suspect

Nglish: Translation of suspect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suspect for Arabic Speakers

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