Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

suspect - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] [not usually progressive]     suspect pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesuspecting
past tensesuspected
past participlesuspected
  1. 1
    to believe that something is true, especially something bad

    Teachers should call social services if they suspect child abuse.

    suspect (that):

    Police suspected that she had some connection with the robbery.

    1. a.
      to believe that someone has done something, usually something bad

      He wrote a letter naming the people whom he suspected.

      suspect someone of something:

      men suspected of involvement in the bombing

      suspect someone of doing something:

      I suspected Alex of deliberately forgetting her purse.

    2. b.
      to believe that something is bad or worse than it appears

      Carl seemed very kind, but she suspected his motives.

  2. 2
    spoken used for stating an opinion to make it sound less direct

    He’ll be missed by some, but not, I suspect, by all his colleagues.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play