Definition of suspect in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈspɛkt/
[with object]
1Have an idea or impression of the existence, presence, or truth of (something) without certain proof: if you suspect a gas leak, do not turn on an electric light [with clause]: she suspected that he might be bluffing (as adjective suspected) a suspected heart condition
More example sentences
  • It's not a bad idea but I suspect it'll take a crisis such as a property crash to make people change their habits.
  • Therefore, precautions should always be taken if the presence of asbestos is suspected.
  • Cases of this type include suspected heart attacks, broken limbs and appendicitis.
have a suspicion, have a feeling, feel, be inclined to think, fancy, reckon, guess, surmise, conjecture, think, think it probable/likely, have a sneaking feeling, have a hunch;
be of the opinion, suppose, conclude, expect, presume, consider, deduce, infer, glean, sense, imagine;
be afraid, fear, have a foreboding
formal opine
1.1Believe or feel that (someone) is guilty of an illegal, dishonest, or unpleasant act, without certain proof: parents suspected of child abuse
More example sentences
  • Tom is suspected of dealing in stolen goods but the police have found it difficult to get evidence against him.
  • The court held that the person ought to be told that he or she was suspected of being over age, and be given a chance to explain his or her position.
  • I was suspected of being the leader of these people, and I needed a way to throw them off of my trail.
regard as guilty, think to be guilty, regard as a wrongdoer
2Doubt the genuineness or truth of: a broker whose honesty he had no reason to suspect
More example sentences
  • There wasn't any particular reason to suspect anything, I thought.
doubt, distrust, mistrust, have doubts about, harbour suspicions about, have misgivings about, be sceptical about, have qualms about, be suspicious of, be wary of, feel chary about, feel uneasy about, have/harbour reservations about, have a funny feeling about
informal smell a rat about


Pronunciation: /ˈsʌspɛkt/
A person thought to be guilty of a crime or offence: the police have arrested a suspect
More example sentences
  • It would not be permissible for the police to take the victim of a crime to a suspect who was under arrest to see if he could identify him.
  • Fewer than 5 percent of all calls dispatched to police are made soon enough for officers to stop a crime or arrest a suspect.
  • He is the prime suspect in a crime he didn't commit, though most believe he did.
suspected person, accused, defendant


Pronunciation: /ˈsʌspɛkt/
Not to be relied on or trusted; possibly dangerous or false: a suspect package was found on the platform
More example sentences
  • Air France later said the suspect package was a false alarm.
  • These include keeping an eye out for suspect bags, packages or vehicles, or people acting suspiciously in airports or stations.
  • Since the events of September 11, and with the ambiguous source of anthrax attacks, there have been concerns of suspect packages.
suspicious, dubious, untrustworthy, questionable, doubtful, odd, queer, potentially dangerous, potentially false, under suspicion, not quite right
informal fishy, funny, shady, not kosher
British informal dodgy


Middle English (originally as an adjective): from Latin suspectus 'mistrusted', past participle of suspicere, from sub- 'from below' + specere 'to look'.

  • The Latin source of suspect is suspicere ‘mistrust’, formed from sub- ‘from below’ and specere ‘to look’ also the source of suspicion (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with suspect

affect, bisect, bull-necked, collect, confect, connect, correct, defect, deflect, deject, detect, direct, effect, eject, elect, erect, expect, infect, inflect, inject, inspect, interconnect, interject, intersect, misdirect, neglect, object, perfect, project, prospect, protect, reflect, reject, respect, resurrect, sect, select, subject, transect, unchecked, Utrecht

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sus|pect

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