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2017 Word of the Year

suspect

[verb suh-spekt; noun suhs-pekt; adjective suhs-pekt, suh-spekt] /verb səˈspɛkt; noun ˈsʌs pɛkt; adjective ˈsʌs pɛkt, səˈspɛkt/
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)
5.
to believe something, especially something evil or wrong, to be the case; have suspicion.
noun
6.
a person who is suspected, especially one suspected of a crime, offense, or the like.
adjective
7.
suspected; open to or under suspicion.
Origin of suspect
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English (adj.) < Latin suspectāre, equivalent to su- su- + spectāre, frequentative of specere to look at
Related forms
suspectible, adjective
nonsuspect, noun, adjective
presuspect, verb (used with object)
unsuspecting, adjective
unsuspectingly, adverb
Synonyms
3. guess, conjecture, suppose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for suspecting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Bulan, suspecting no treachery, was all anxiety to be off at once.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • But your mother mentioned that you had been suspecting your father.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Richard, my friend, she couldn't have done it if she had suspected us of suspecting her.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • Didn't you say they'd been suspecting him for some time back?

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • Theodora was far from suspecting the cause of her lover's agitation.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
British Dictionary definitions for suspecting

suspect

verb (səˈspɛkt)
1.
(transitive) to believe guilty of a specified offence without proof
2.
(transitive) to think false, questionable, etc: she suspected his sincerity
3.
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to surmise to be the case; think probable: to suspect fraud
4.
(intransitive) to have suspicion
noun (ˈsʌspɛkt)
5.
a person who is under suspicion
adjective (ˈsʌspɛkt)
6.
causing or open to suspicion
Derived Forms
suspecter, noun
suspectless, 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
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Word Origin and History for suspecting

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
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