tending to cause or excite suspicion; questionable: suspicious behavior.
inclined to suspect, especially inclined to suspect evil; distrustful: a suspicious tyrant.
full of or feeling suspicion.
expressing or indicating suspicion: a suspicious glance.

Origin of suspicious

1300–50; Middle English < Latin suspīciōsus, equivalent to suspīci- (see suspicion) + -ōsus -ous
Related formssus·pi·cious·ly, adverbsus·pi·cious·ness, nounhy·per·sus·pi·cious, adjectivehy·per·sus·pi·cious·ly, adverbhy·per·sus·pi·cious·ness, nouno·ver·sus·pi·cious, adjectiveo·ver·sus·pi·cious·ly, adverbo·ver·sus·pi·cious·ness, nounpre·sus·pi·cious, adjectivepre·sus·pi·cious·ly, adverbpre·sus·pi·cious·ness, nounself-sus·pi·cious, adjectivesu·per·sus·pi·cious, adjectivesu·per·sus·pi·cious·ly, adverbsu·per·sus·pi·cious·ness, nounun·sus·pi·cious, adjectiveun·sus·pi·cious·ly, adverbun·sus·pi·cious·ness, noun

Synonyms for suspicious

1. suspect, dubious, doubtful. 2. mistrustful, wary, disbelieving. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for suspiciousness

Historical Examples of suspiciousness

  • Its character for suspiciousness may be gathered from what different writers have said about it.

    The Foot-path Way

    Bradford Torrey

  • Bobby, however, was in a field where suspiciousness could scarcely be overdone.

    The Making of Bobby Burnit

    George Randolph Chester

  • I have ever held it to be a proof of the suspiciousness of our natures and unworthy.


    Frederick Marryat

  • There was a suspiciousness about his tone that was almost insulting.

    Three Men on the Bummel

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • His defect in his new office was an excess of zeal in suspiciousness.

    Sir Walter Ralegh

    William Stebbing

British Dictionary definitions for suspiciousness



exciting or liable to excite suspicion; questionable
disposed to suspect something wrong
indicative or expressive of suspicion
Derived Formssuspiciously, adverbsuspiciousness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for suspiciousness



"deserving of or exciting suspicion," mid-14c., from Old French suspecious, from Latin suspiciosus "exciting suspicion" (see suspicion). Meaning "full of or inclined to feel suspicion" is attested from c.1400. Edgar Allan Poe (c.1845) proposed suspectful to take one of the two conflicting senses. Related: suspiciously; suspiciousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper