[ verb suh-spekt; noun suhs-pekt; adjective suhs-pekt, suh-spekt ]
/ verb səˈspɛkt; noun ˈsʌs pɛkt; adjective ˈsʌs pɛkt, səˈspɛkt /
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verb (used with object)
to believe to be guilty, false, counterfeit, undesirable, defective, bad, etc., with little or no proof: to suspect a person of murder.
to doubt or mistrust: I suspect his motives.
to believe to be the case or to be likely or probable; surmise: I suspect his knowledge did not amount to much.
to have some hint or foreknowledge of: I think she suspected the surprise.
verb (used without object)
to believe something, especially something evil or wrong, to be the case; have suspicion.
a person who is suspected, especially one suspected of a crime, offense, or the like.
an animal or thing that is suspected to be the cause of something bad: Investigators focused on faulty wiring as a suspect in the house fire.The cause of the disease was not confirmed, but the suspect was an insect.
suspected; open to or under suspicion.
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Idioms about suspect
the usual suspects, the people, animals, or things that are commonly associated with a particular activity, situation, etc. (often used facetiously): We visited a family farm with sheep and bunnies and roosters and goats—the usual suspects!
Origin of suspect
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English (adjective) from Latin suspectus, past participle of suspicere “to look up, look and see, regard with mistrust,” equivalent to su- “under, below, beneath” + -spicere, combining form of specere “to see, observe, keep an eye on, take into consideration”; (verb) partly from the adjective, partly from Middle French suspecter “to hold suspect,” or directly from Latin suspectāre, frequentative of suspicere; see su-
OTHER WORDS FROM suspect
sus·pect·i·ble, adjectivenon·sus·pect, noun, adjectivepre·sus·pect, verb (used with object)un·sus·pect·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
How to use suspect in a sentence
As poverty is generally suspectible, the widow must be got handsomely aforehand; and no doubt but she is.Clarissa, Volume 4 (of 9)|Samuel Richardson
British Dictionary definitions for suspect
(tr) to believe guilty of a specified offence without proof
(tr) to think false, questionable, etcshe suspected his sincerity
(tr; may take a clause as object) to surmise to be the case; think probableto suspect fraud
(intr) to have suspicion
a person who is under suspicion
causing or open to suspicion
Derived forms of suspectsuspecter, nounsuspectless, adjective
Word Origin for suspect
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