Definition of suspect in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈspekt/
[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, conclude, have a hunch;
suppose, presume, deduce, infer, sense, imagine;
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.
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 misgivings about, be skeptical about, have qualms about, be suspicious of, be wary of, harbor reservations about


Pronunciation: /ˈsəsˌpekt/
A person thought to be guilty of a crime or offense: 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: /ˈsəsˌpekt/
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, doubtful, untrustworthy;
odd, queer
informal fishy, funny, shady


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

Syllabification: sus·pect

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