above suspicion

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So trustworthy as never to be suspected of wrongdoing, as in “The wife of Caesar must be above suspicion” (Charles Merivale, A History of the Romans under the Empire, 1850). The phrase was given further currency when it was used for the title of a very popular World War II spy film starring Joan Crawford (Above Suspicion, 1943). A similar idiom using above in the sense of “beyond” is above the law, usually describing an individual or business behaving as though exempt from rules or laws that apply to others.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


What does above suspicion mean?

Above suspicion is used to describe someone who is considered to be completely trustworthy—someone who would never be suspected of doing anything wrong.

The phrase can also be used to describe such a person’s actions.

In above suspicion, suspicion refers to the state of being suspected of something, especially of a crime or other wrongdoing. To be under suspicion is to be suspected if something, as in He is under suspicion for money laundering.

If someone is thought to be above suspicion, it means that no one would ever suspect that they have done anything wrong—or are even capable of it. The phrase is typically applied to people who are thought to have a spotless reputation.

Example: Our parents looked around the trashed living room and then at us, and we knew that only the goldfish was above suspicion of making the mess.

Where does above suspicion come from?

The phrase above suspicion is thought to have been popularized by expression

“The wife of Caesar must be above suspicion,” which first appeared in Charles Merivale’s 1850 book A History of the Romans under the Empire. The expression is attributed to Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, who supposedly said it after divorcing his wife Pompeia because she had been implicated in some scandal.

The expression came to be used as a proverb meaning that those who are associated with powerful public figures need to have a reputation for being completely honest and honorable.

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What are some synonyms for above suspicion?

  • beyond suspicion

What are some words that share a root or word element with above suspicion

What are some words that often get used in discussing above suspicion?

How is above suspicion used in real life?

Above suspicion is often used in the discussion of public figures.


Try using above suspicion!

Is above suspicion used correctly in the following sentence? 

No person should be above suspicion—everyone is capable of wrongdoing, no matter how stellar their reputation is.

How to use above suspicion in a sentence