Meaning of “suspicious” in the English Dictionary

"suspicious" in British English

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suspiciousadjective

uk /səˈspɪʃ.əs/ us /səˈspɪʃ.əs/

suspicious adjective (SEEM GUILTY)

B2 making you feel that something illegal is happening or that something is wrong:

Her behaviour was very suspicious.
The fire at the bank is being treated as suspicious.
It's a little suspicious that no one knows where he was at the time of the murder.
There were some suspicious characters hanging around outside.
There's a suspicious-looking van parked at the end of the street.
His new book bears a suspicious resemblance to a book written by someone else. (= His book is so similar to the other book that it seems as if he has copied it.)

More examples

  • She died in suspicious circumstances.
  • The public were warned to be on the alert for suspicious packages.
  • There was something furtive about his behaviour and I immediately felt suspicious.
  • His reticence about his past made them very suspicious.
  • He looks very suspicious hanging around by the bins - I'm sure he's up to something.

suspicious adjective (DOUBT)

B2 feeling doubt or no trust in someone or something:

His colleagues became suspicious (= thought that there was something wrong) when he did not appear at work, since he was always punctual.
They are deeply/highly (= very) suspicious of one another/of each other's motives.
My mother has a very suspicious nature (= does not trust people).

More examples

  • Older people tend to be quite conservative and a bit suspicious of any supposed advances.
  • She allowed that she might have been too suspicious.
  • Of course I'm telling the truth - you've got such a suspicious mind!
  • I was becoming increasingly suspicious of his motives.
  • We became suspicious when the letter did not arrive.

(Definition of “suspicious” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"suspicious" in American English

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suspiciousadjective

us /səˈspɪʃ·əs/

suspicious adjective (FEELING DOUBT)

feeling doubt or a lack of trust:

Many of the workers were suspicious of the labor agreement.

suspicious adjective (FEELING SOMEONE IS GUILTY )

making you feel that something illegal is happening or that something is wrong:

Last night’s fire at the bank is being treated as suspicious.
Neighbors were asked if they had noticed anything suspicious.

(Definition of “suspicious” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)