Definition of “suspect” - English Dictionary

“suspect” in British English

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suspectverb [ T ]

uk /səˈspekt/ us /səˈspekt/

suspect verb [ T ] (THINK LIKELY)

B2 to think or believe something to be true or probable:

So far, the police do not suspect foul play.
[ + (that) ] We had no reason to suspect (that) he might try to kill himself.
"Do you think she'll have told them?" "I suspect not/so."

More examples

  • I suspect he cheats the taxman .
  • I don't really know how she got the job, but I suspect her mother's got contacts.
  • We suspect he means to dishonour the agreement made three years ago.
  • I suspect the doctor thought I was just another hysterical female.
  • She has this apparent innocence which, I suspect, she uses to her advantage.

suspect verb [ T ] (THINK GUILTY)

B2 to think that someone has committed a crime or done something wrong:

No one knows who killed her, but the police suspect her husband.
The police suspect him of carrying out two bomb attacks.
Three suspected terrorists have been arrested.

More examples

  • The police suspect him of fronting for a crime syndicate.
  • The suspected murderer is being held at Belmarsh prison.
  • Police suspect him of masterminding a drugs empire.
  • She was suspected of selling stolen goods.
  • I was wary about talking to a suspected criminal.
suspected
adjective uk /səˈspek.tɪd/ us /səˈspek.tɪd/

Examples

  • They've cordoned off the whole area because of a suspected bomb.
  • The police have kept the nightclub under surveillance because of suspected illegal drug activity.
  • He has to watch what he eats because of a suspected stomach ulcer.
  • Her suspected interest in the takeover has been the subject of a lot of press reporting.

He has a suspected broken leg.

suspectnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈsʌs.pekt/ us /ˈsʌs.pekt/

B2 a person believed to have committed a crime or done something wrong, or something believed to have caused something bad:

Police have issued a photograph of the suspect.
The prime suspect in the case committed suicide.
No one knows what caused the outbreak of food poisoning, but shellfish is the main suspect (= is thought to have caused it).

suspectadjective

uk /ˈsʌs.pekt/ us /ˈsʌs.pekt/

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

“suspect” in American English

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suspectverb [ T ]

us /səˈspekt/

suspect verb [ T ] (THINK LIKELY)

to think or believe something is likely:

Medical investigators suspect the outbreak was caused by bacteria in the water supply.

suspect verb [ T ] (THINK GUILTY)

to think or believe that someone is guilty of something:

Authorities have the power to evict residents when they suspect criminal activity.

suspect verb [ T ] (DOUBT)

to doubt or not believe in something:

There is no reason to suspect their loyalty.

suspectnoun [ C ]

us /ˈsʌs·pekt/

suspect noun [ C ] (GUILTY PERSON)

a person who is believed to be guilty of something:

After the robbery, the usual suspects were rounded up.

suspectadjective

us /ˈsʌs·pekt, səˈspekt/

suspect adjective (CAUSING DOUBT)

not able to be trusted; possibly false or dangerous:

I can’t understand why my reasons seem suspect to a number of people.

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

“suspect” in Business English

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suspectverb [ T ]

uk /səˈspekt/ us

to believe that something, usually something bad, may be true or may have happened:

suspect that The bank suspects that fraud has occurred.
suspect fraud/dishonesty/foul play

to believe that someone is guilty of committing a crime:

suspect sb/sth of doing sth The company was suspected of paying bribes to Army officers to secure contracts.

suspectnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈsʌspekt/ us

someone who police, employers, or other authorities believe has committed a crime:

a chief/key/prime suspect

suspectadjective

uk /ˈsʌspekt/ us

if something is suspect, it seems likely to be dishonest, dangerous, criminal, etc.:

The Financial Services Authority is cracking down on banks and brokers that have failed to report suspect deals by clients.
Bomb disposal experts destroyed a suspect package found at the airport.

(Definition of “suspect” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)