Definition of SUSPICION


Suspicion as a noun refers to a feeling or belief that someone or something is likely guilty of wrongdoing, dishonesty, or improper conduct, often based on incomplete or circumstantial evidence. It involves distrust, skepticism, or apprehension about the motives, intentions, or actions of others.

Distrust and Skepticism: Suspicion entails a lack of trust or confidence in someone’s honesty, integrity, or reliability, leading to doubts or reservations about their character or behavior. It may arise from perceived inconsistencies, discrepancies, or questionable behavior that raises concerns or red flags.

Apprehension and Wariness: Feelings of suspicion involve a sense of apprehension or wariness toward individuals, situations, or circumstances perceived as potentially risky, deceptive, or threatening. It prompts heightened vigilance, caution, or skepticism to protect oneself from potential harm or exploitation.

Circumstantial Evidence: Suspicion can be based on circumstantial evidence, such as ambiguous behavior, conflicting accounts, or unusual circumstances that suggest the possibility of deception or wrongdoing. While not conclusive proof of guilt, these factors may raise suspicions and warrant further investigation or scrutiny.

Paranoia and Overreaction: In some cases, suspicion may veer into paranoia or overreaction, leading individuals to perceive threats or conspiracies where none exist. Excessive suspicion can strain relationships, erode trust, and undermine cooperation, potentially exacerbating conflicts or misunderstandings.

Examples: Examples of suspicion include doubting the honesty of a person who frequently tells inconsistent stories, questioning the motives of a business partner who acts secretive about financial transactions, feeling uneasy about a neighbor who behaves strangely at odd hours, or suspecting foul play in a series of unexplained incidents.

Suspicion involves a feeling or belief that someone or something may be guilty of wrongdoing or dishonesty, leading to distrust, skepticism, or apprehension. While it can serve as a protective instinct, excessive or unfounded suspicion may strain relationships and undermine cooperation, highlighting the importance of balanced judgment and evidence-based evaluation.

Examples of SUSPICION in a sentence

  • She couldn’t shake the suspicion that someone was watching her from the shadows.
  • His behavior aroused suspicion among his coworkers, who began to wonder if he was hiding something.
  • The detective had a nagging suspicion that the key to the case lay in the victim’s last known whereabouts.
  • Despite her protestations of innocence, there was an air of suspicion surrounding her involvement in the crime.
  • He glanced around the room, his eyes lingering on each face with a hint of suspicion.
  • The politician’s sudden wealth raised suspicion among voters, who questioned the source of his newfound riches.
  • The police acted on a tip-off, raiding the warehouse on suspicion of illegal activity.
  • There was an undercurrent of suspicion in the air, as neighbors whispered about the strange occurrences in the quiet town.

Etymology of SUSPICION

The term suspicion navigates the complex terrain of distrust, uncertainty, and cautious skepticism, reflecting the instinctive wariness or doubt that arises when one perceives potential risks or threats. Rooted in human psychology and social dynamics, it has evolved into a noun that signifies a feeling or state of mistrust, apprehension, or skepticism towards someone or something.

  • Human Psychology and Evolutionary Origins: Suspicion has deep roots in human psychology, likely stemming from evolutionary instincts aimed at self-preservation and survival. Throughout history, individuals who remained vigilant and cautious in the face of potential dangers were more likely to avoid harm and ensure their survival.
  • Social Dynamics and Trust: Suspicion arises in social contexts where trust is essential but not guaranteed. It may result from perceived inconsistencies, discrepancies, or deviations from expected behavior, leading individuals to question motives, intentions, or credibility.
  • Cognitive and Emotional Responses: Suspicion can evoke a range of cognitive and emotional responses, including doubt, skepticism, wariness, and apprehension. It may manifest as a gut feeling or intuition that something is not quite right, prompting individuals to proceed with caution or seek additional information before making decisions.
  • Causes and Consequences: Suspicion can be triggered by various factors, such as past experiences, cultural influences, or situational cues. While a healthy level of skepticism can protect against deception or manipulation, excessive or unwarranted suspicion may lead to strained relationships, paranoia, or social isolation.
  • Management and Resolution: Addressing suspicion often requires open communication, transparency, and efforts to build trust and mutual understanding. Clarifying intentions, providing reassurance, and demonstrating consistency and reliability can help alleviate suspicion and foster stronger relationships.

Suspicion serves as a natural and adaptive response to uncertainty and perceived threats in social interactions. From its evolutionary origins to its manifestation in contemporary society, the term reflects the complex interplay between cognition, emotion, and social dynamics in shaping human behavior and relationships.


  • Doubt
  • Mistrust
  • Distrust
  • Skepticism
  • Apprehension
  • Misgiving
  • Hesitation
  • Unease


  • Trust
  • Confidence
  • Assurance
  • Certainty
  • Conviction
  • Belief
  • Faith
  • Credence


  • Doubt
  • Mistrust
  • Distrust
  • Skepticism
  • Apprehension
  • Misgiving
  • Hesitation
  • Unease

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