• enPR: sŭsʹpĕkt, IPA: /ˈsʌs.pɛkt/
  • enPR: səs.pĕktʹ, IPA: /səsˈpɛkt/

suspect (suspects, present participle suspecting; past and past participle suspected)

  1. (transitive) To imagine or suppose (something) to be true, or to exist, without proof.
    to suspect the presence of disease
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 9”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      From her hand I could suspect no ill.
  2. (transitive) To distrust or have doubts about (something or someone).
    to suspect the truth of a story
  3. (transitive) To believe (someone) to be guilty.
    I suspect him of being the thief.
  4. (intransitive) To have suspicion.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To look up to; to respect.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: einen Verdacht haben
  • Italian: sospettare
  • Portuguese: suspeitar
  • Russian: подозрева́ть

suspect (plural suspects)

  1. A person who is suspected of something, in particular of committing a crime.
    • 1942, Casablanca (film), written by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch
      Round up the usual suspects.
Translations Adjective


  1. Viewed with suspicion; suspected.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Book the Second”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗:
      What I can do or offer is suspect.
      In his first book since the 2008 essay collection Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature, David Quammen looks at the natural world from yet another angle: the search for the next human pandemic, what epidemiologists call “the next big one.” His quest leads him around the world to study a variety of suspect zoonoses—animal-hosted pathogens that infect humans.
  2. (nonstandard) Viewing with suspicion; suspecting.
    • 2004, Will Nickell, letter to the editor of Field & Stream, Volume CIX Number 8 (December 2004–January 2005), page 18 ↗
      Now I’m suspect of other advice that I read in your pages.
Synonyms Translations Related terms

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