noun \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


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