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1. Arousing or apt to arouse suspicion; questionable: suspicious behavior.
2. Tending to suspect; distrustful: a suspicious nature.
3. Expressing suspicion: a suspicious look.

sus·pi′cious·ly adv.
sus·pi′cious·ness n.



(See also SKEPTICISM.)

flea in the ear See IRRITATION.

nigger in the woodpile Something suspicious, such as an undisclosed fact, hidden element, or ulterior motive. This expression sprang up during the era of slavery in the United States, most specifically in regard to the Underground Railroad, a system whereby abolitionists aided runaway slaves, often concealing them through any expedient—one of which was a woodpile. The phrase first appeared in print in 1852; though the expression has from long figurative use lost its direct association with Blacks, the offensiveness still carried by the word nigger inhibits the phrase’s use in contemporary speech and writing and may well signal its demise from the language.

Like a great many others ignorant of facts, he finds “a nigger in the wood pile” when there is neither wood pile nor nigger. (Congressional Record, February, 1897)

smell a rat To instinctively sense evil, treachery, or wrongdoing; to be suspicious. A cat has a keen sense of smell which enables it to detect an unseen rat. The phrase is quite common in the United States and Great Britain.

I asked her so many questions, that, though a woman ignorant enough, she began to smell a rat. (William R. Chetwood, Voyages of W.O.G. Vaughan, 1736)

something rotten in Denmark An expression used to describe a suspected problem which cannot be pinpointed; something of a questionable or suspicious nature; anything that disconcerts and instills anxiety. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Marcellus is uneasy because the ghost of Hamlet’s father had appeared to him. He sees this as a portent and conjectures to Horatio:

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. (I, iv)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.suspiciousness - being of a suspicious nature; "his suspiciousness destroyed his marriage"
distrustfulness, mistrust, distrust - the trait of not trusting others
إرْتِياب، إثارَة للشَّك
grunsemd; tortryggni
kuşkulu olmaşüphe uyandırma


[səsˈpɪʃəsnɪs] N
1. (= mistrust) → desconfianza f, recelo m
2. (= questionable nature) [of circumstances etc] → lo sospechoso


(= feeling suspicion)Verdacht m, → Argwohn m (geh)
(= causing suspicion)Verdächtigkeit f


(səˈspekt) verb
1. to think (a person etc) guilty. Whom do you suspect (of the crime)?; I suspect him of killing the girl.
2. to distrust. I suspected her motives / air of honesty.
3. to think probable. I suspect that she's trying to hide her true feelings; I began to suspect a plot.
noun (ˈsaspekt)
a person who is thought guilty. There are three possible suspects in this murder case.
not trustworthy. I think his statement is suspect.
suspicion (səˈspiʃən) noun
1. the process of suspecting or being suspected; the/a feeling causing a person to suspect. They looked at each other with suspicion; I have a suspicion that she is not telling the truth.
2. a slight quantity or trace. There was a suspicion of triumph in his tone.
suspicious (səˈspiʃəs) adjective
1. having or showing suspicion. I'm always suspicious of men like him; a suspicious glance.
2. causing or arousing suspicion. suspicious circumstances.
suspiciously (səˈspiʃəsli) adverb
suˈspiciousness noun
References in classic literature ?
Carr, with an attempt at jocularity that did not, however, disguise an irritated suspiciousness.
He had begun to blame himself for two opposite tendencies--on the one hand to extreme, almost "senseless," confidence in his fellows, on the other to a "vile, gloomy suspiciousness.
No, you interrupted me, but I must tell you that, for all your wit, your suspiciousness makes you lose the common-sense view of things.
At minimum, agents can refer suspect reports to special investigative units with relevant priorities based on the combination of size and suspiciousness of the claim.
Hofstadter allowed that he had borrowed a clinical term, but he thought that "no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.
The primary endpoint was the mean change from baseline to day 28 on the 30-item Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score, which measures positive symptoms such as delusions, suspiciousness, and hallucinations; negative symptoms, such as blunted affect, social and emotional withdrawal, and stereotyped thinking; and general psychopathology, such as anxiety, tension, depression, and active social avoidance.
As reported by his family members, his first episode began as bipolar mania with psychotic features characterized as insomnia, talking too much, increased self-confidence, suspiciousness, mumbling to himself, hearing voices, thoughts of being a rich commander and expecting an outbreak of war during his military service in August 2001.
criteria for schizophrenia and had a PANSS total score between 80 and 120 at the initial screening visit, and a score of 4 or greater on at least two of the following four items of the PANSS positive subscale: hallucinatory behavior, delusions, conceptual disorganization or suspiciousness.
The idea collapsed in the atmosphere of suspiciousness about the funding and strong opposition of some inhabitants (Stryjakiewicz, Tolle 2009) (4).
Develop a close relationship with one person; someone who can act as an anchor and keep you grounded in reality so that your natural suspiciousness and egocentric viewpoint does not dominate your decisions.
He admits, however, that "there are no specific signs that indicate suspiciousness or guilt.
Early warning signs of schizophrenia could be a social withdrawal, depression, suspiciousness or inappropriate laugh or crying.