[ suhg-jes-chuhn, suh- ]
/ səgˈdʒɛs tʃən, sə- /
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See synonyms for: suggestion / suggestions on Thesaurus.com

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Origin of suggestion

1300–50; Middle English suggestio(u)n incitement to evil <Medieval Latin suggestiōn- (stem of suggestiō), Latin: act of supplying an answer or hint, equivalent to suggest(us) (see suggest) + -iōn--ion

synonym study for suggestion

1, 3. See advice.


coun·ter·sug·ges·tion, nounnon·sug·ges·tion, nounpre·sug·ges·tion, nounself-sug·ges·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does suggestion mean?

A suggestion is a proposal, piece of advice, or idea for consideration.

Suggestion is the noun form the verb suggest. Suggestion is often used with the verbs offer and make, as in the common question, Can I make a suggestion? 

In psychology, suggestion has a more specific meaning: the process in which the mere presentation of an idea to a receptive person leads to the acceptance of that idea.

Example: After explaining his new business plan, Tom told his colleagues that he was open to suggestions and other feedback.

Where does suggestion come from?

Beware of suggestions—the word comes from a Middle English term meaning “incitement to evil.” The first records of suggestion come from the 1300s. In fact, suggestion preceded the verb suggest in English. Both suggest and suggestion ultimately derive from the Latin verb suggerere, meaning “to build up, supply, hint, suggest.”

Suggestions are ideas, usually for how something should be done or how something could be improved. You probably make suggestions to your friends all the time about both big things (like where you think they should work) and small things (like where you should meet for dinner). Employees sometimes submit suggestions to the (often virtual) suggestion box at work, and companies often ask customers to send comments and suggestions. Suggestions are made to people who may or may not act on them—the word typically implies that it’s optional. To that end, when someone gives you advice but wants to emphasize that they’re not pressuring you to take it or act on it, they often end by saying just a suggestion. Someone who is willing to consider advice is said to be open to suggestions. Relatedly but less commonly, suggestion can be used to mean “a trace or hint of something,” as in The flavor of this chocolate has a faint suggestion of coffee. 

In psychology, suggestion refers to the practice of implanting an idea in the mind of someone, often simply by mentioning it. This is often done to influence the person’s actions or behavior. This sense is seen in the phrase the power of suggestion, which refers to how effective it can be.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to suggestion?

  • suggest (verb)
  • countersuggestion (noun)
  • nonsuggestion (noun)
  • presuggestion (noun)
  • self-suggestion (noun)

What are some synonyms for suggestion?

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

What are some words that often get used in discussing suggestion?


How is suggestion used in real life?

Suggestion is a very common word that’s used in many contexts. It’s often seen in phrases like here’s a suggestion, just a suggestion, and Can I make a suggestion?



Try using suggestion!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of suggestion?

A. idea
B. proposal
C. order
D. recommendation

How to use suggestion in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for suggestion

/ (səˈdʒɛstʃən) /

something that is suggested
a hint or indicationa suggestion of the odour of violets
psychol the process whereby the mere presentation of an idea to a receptive individual leads to the acceptance of that ideaSee also autosuggestion
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

Medical definitions for suggestion

[ səg-jĕschən, sə-jĕs- ]

Implanting of an idea in the mind of another by a word or act so as to influence conduct or physical condition.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.