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suspect

[verb suh-spekt; noun suhs-pekt; adjective suhs-pekt, suh-spekt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to believe to be guilty, false, counterfeit, undesirable, defective, bad, etc., with little or no proof: to suspect a person of murder.
  2. to doubt or mistrust: I suspect his motives.
  3. to believe to be the case or to be likely or probable; surmise: I suspect his knowledge did not amount to much.
  4. to have some hint or foreknowledge of: I think she suspected the surprise.
verb (used without object)
  1. to believe something, especially something evil or wrong, to be the case; have suspicion.
noun
  1. a person who is suspected, especially one suspected of a crime, offense, or the like.
adjective
  1. suspected; open to or under suspicion.

Origin of suspect

1250–1300; Middle English (adj.) < Latin suspectāre, equivalent to su- su- + spectāre, frequentative of specere to look at
Related formssus·pect·i·ble, adjectivenon·sus·pect, noun, adjectivepre·sus·pect, verb (used with object)un·sus·pect·ing, adjectiveun·sus·pect·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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3. guess, conjecture, suppose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for suspect

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I suspect that she was the means of influencing so large a purchase.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • "I suspect that I have been deceived," said Mr. Morgan, gravely.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • I suspect man has more to do with the unmaking than the making of either.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • He began to suspect that he was being cheated into listening to a Bible story.

  • Like Hamlet, too, this Richard is quick to suspect even his friends' loyalty.


British Dictionary definitions for suspect

suspect

verb (səˈspɛkt)
  1. (tr) to believe guilty of a specified offence without proof
  2. (tr) to think false, questionable, etcshe suspected his sincerity
  3. (tr; may take a clause as object) to surmise to be the case; think probableto suspect fraud
  4. (intr) to have suspicion
noun (ˈsʌspɛkt)
  1. a person who is under suspicion
adjective (ˈsʌspɛkt)
  1. causing or open to suspicion
Derived Formssuspecter, nounsuspectless, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin suspicere to mistrust, from sub- + specere to look
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for suspect

adj.

mid-14c., from Old French suspect "suspicious," from Latin suspectus "suspected, suspicious," past participle of suspicere "look up at, mistrust, suspect," from sub "up to" + specere "to look at" (see scope (n.1)). The notion is of "look at secretly," hence, "look at distrustfully." The verb is attested from late 15c.; the noun meaning "a suspected person" is first recorded 1590s. Related: Suspected; suspecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper