[ suh-spish-uhn ]
/ səˈspɪʃ ən /
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See synonyms for: suspicion / suspicioned / suspicioning / suspicions on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
Nonstandard. to suspect.
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Origin of suspicion

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Latin suspīciōn- (stem of suspīciō), equivalent to suspīc- (variant stem of suspicere “to look from below, suspect” ) + -iōn--ion;see suspect

synonym study for suspicion

2. Suspicion, distrust are terms for a feeling that appearances are not reliable. Suspicion is the positive tendency to doubt the trustworthiness of appearances and therefore to believe that one has detected possibilities of something unreliable, unfavorable, menacing, or the like: to feel suspicion about the honesty of a prominent man. Distrust may be a passive want of trust, faith, or reliance in a person or thing: to feel distrust of one's own ability.


pre·sus·pi·cion, nounself-sus·pi·cion, nounsu·per·sus·pi·cion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does suspicion mean?

Suspicion is the state or act of suspecting something—having a sense that it may be true without knowing with certainty.

Suspicion can also refer to this sense, as in I had a suspicion that I was going to be fired, or an instance of suspecting someone of something, as in My suspicions turned out to be right—they had been stealing from the register.

A suspicion is usually based on something, such as a hunch or some kind of evidence, but the word is typically used in situations in which there is some doubt—when someone suspects something, but isn’t sure.

Suspicion is most commonly used in negative contexts, but this isn’t always the case. For example, you might have a suspicion that someone is planning a surprise party for you.

Suspicion can also refer to a state of mind, as in He’s always been prone to suspicion. To regard something with suspicion is to regard it with distrust.

Sometimes, suspicion refers to the state of being suspected, especially of a crime or other wrongdoing. This sense of the word is often used in phrases like under suspicion and on suspicion of, as in He was arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Someone who’s considered highly trustworthy might be described as above suspicion, meaning you would never suspect them of doing anything wrong.

The adjective suspicious can describe a person who has suspicions about others, as in My parents got suspicious when I kept asking whether they’d be home tomorrow, or someone or something that arouses suspicion, as in a suspicious package.

Example: We have suspected it all along, and what happened today confirmed our suspicions.

Where does suspicion come from?

The first records of the word suspicion come from the 1200s. It comes from the Latin suspīciō, meaning “distrust,” from the verb suspicere, “to mistrust.”

The word suspect is based on the same root as suspicion (ultimately coming from the Latin specere, meaning “to observe,” or “to keep an eye on”) and is often used in many of the same contexts. To suspect something is to have a suspicion. A person investigated or arrested on suspicion of having committed a crime is called a suspect.

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What are some other forms related to suspicion?

What are some synonyms for suspicion?

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

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

How is suspicion used in real life?

Suspicion is usually (though not always) used in negative contexts, especially ones involving someone doing something wrong. It always implies that what’s being suspected isn’t known for sure. 



Try using suspicion!

Which of the following words can be a synonym of suspicion

A. distrust
B. mistrust
C. misgiving
D. all of the above

How to use suspicion in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for suspicion

/ (səˈspɪʃən) /


Derived forms of suspicion

suspicional, adjectivesuspicionless, adjective

Word Origin for suspicion

C14: from Old French sospeçon, from Latin suspīciō distrust, from suspicere to mistrust; see suspect
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with suspicion


see above suspicion.

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