noun cul·prit \ˈkəl-prət, -ˌprit\

: a person who has committed a crime or done something wrong

Full Definition of CULPRIT

:  one accused of or charged with a crime
:  one guilty of a crime or a fault
:  the source or cause of a problem

Examples of CULPRIT

  1. The police eventually located the culprits.
  2. <the police caught the culprit a mere two blocks from the scene of the crime>

Origin of CULPRIT

Anglo-French cul. (abbreviation of culpable guilty) + prest, prit ready (i.e., to prove it), from Latin praestus — more at presto
First Known Use: 1678

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi
CULPRIT Defined for Kids


noun cul·prit \ˈkəl-prət\

Definition of CULPRIT for Kids

:  a person accused of, charged with, or guilty of a crime or fault


Next Word in the Dictionary: culs–de–fourPrevious Word in the Dictionary: culpeoAll Words Near: culprit
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears