mid-15c. (implied in suspected), from suspect (adj.) and in part from French suspecter or directly from Latin suspectare "to mistrust," frequentative of suspicere. Related: Suspecting.
"Suspicion" words in other Indo-European languages also tend to be words for "think" or "look" with prefixes meaning "under, behind;" such as Greek hypopsia (hypo "under," opsis "sight"), hyponoia (noein "to think"); Lettish aizduomas (aiz "behind," duomat "think"); Russian podozrenie (Slavic podu "under," Old Church Slavonic zireti "see, look"); Dutch achterdocht (achter "behind," denken "to think").
c. 1400, "distrust, want of confidence, doubt of the ability or disposition of others," from Latin diffidentia "mistrust, distrust, want of confidence," from diffidere "to mistrust, lack confidence," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). The opposite of confidence. Original sense (distrust of others) is obsolete; the modern sense is of "distrust of oneself, want of confidence in one's ability, worth, or fitness" (1650s), hence "retiring disposition, modest reserve."
Diffidence is a defect: it is an undue distrust of self, with fear of being censured for failure, tending to unfit one for duty. [Century Dictionary]
mid-15c., "distrustful, wanting confidence in another's power," from Latin diffidentem (nominative diffidens), present participle of diffidere "to mistrust, lack confidence," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). Original sense is obsolete; modern sense of "distrustful of oneself, not confident" is by 1713. Compare diffidence. Related: Diffidently.