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Coined based on Latin suggestus, perfect passive participle of suggerō (I carry or bring under, furnish, supply, excite, advise, suggest), from sub (under) + gerō (I bear, carry).



suggest (third-person singular simple present suggests, present participle suggesting, simple past and past participle suggested)

  1. (transitive) To imply but stop short of saying explicitly.
    Are you suggesting that I killed my wife?
  2. To make one suppose; cause one to suppose (something).
    • 2012 May 24, Nathan Rabin, “Film: Reviews: Men In Black 3”, in The Onion AV Club:
      In the abstract, Stuhlbarg’s twinkly-eyed sidekick suggests Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2 by way of late-period Robin Williams with an alien twist, but Stuhlbarg makes a character that easily could have come across as precious into a surprisingly palatable, even charming man.
    • 2013 August 16, Sarah Boseley, “Children shun vegetables and fruit”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 10, page 15:
      The [British Heart Foundation's] data […] suggests there has been little improvement in eating, drinking and exercise habits in spite of the concern about obesity and the launch of the government's child measurement programme, which warns parents if their children are overweight. About a third of under-16s across the UK are either overweight or obese.
    The name "hamburger" suggests that hamburgers originated from Hamburg.
  3. (transitive) To mention something as an idea, typically in order to recommend it
    I’d like to suggest that we go out to lunch.   I’d like to suggest going out to lunch.
    The guidebook suggests that we visit the local cathedral, which is apparently beautiful.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 19, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To seduce; to prompt to evil; to tempt.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (ask for without demanding) This is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (the form ending in -ing). See Appendix:English catenative verbs
  • The intended meaning can be signalized by conjugation. In the first and second senses, the indicative mood is used, and in the third sense, the subjunctive mood is used. “The researcher's work suggests that school is run differently.” means that the researcher's work indicates that school is run differently from another idea of how it is run, while “The researcher's work suggests that school (should) be run differently.” means that the researcher's work indicates that school ought be run differently from how it is actually run or from another idea of how it could be run. However, in informal British English, the indicative is often used for both meanings, and in all dialects, should can be left out even when the indicative and subjunctive look identical without it, possibly leading to ambiguity.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

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