Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

guilt

play
noun \ˈgilt\

Simple Definition of guilt

  • : responsibility for a crime or for doing something bad or wrong

  • : a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of guilt

  1. 1 :  the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty; broadly :  guilty conduct

  2. 2 a :  the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously b :  feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy :  self-reproach

  3. 3 :  a feeling of culpability for offenses

Examples of guilt in a sentence

  1. The jury determines the defendant's guilt or innocence.

  2. His guilt in the matter was indisputable.

  3. It was clear that the guilt lay with him.

  4. a strong sense of guilt

  5. She feels guilt over something that happened before she was born!

  6. our secret guilts and insecurities



Origin and Etymology of guilt

Middle English, delinquency, guilt, from Old English gylt delinquency


First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with guilt



GUILT Defined for Kids

guilt

play
noun \ˈgilt\

Definition of guilt for Students

  1. 1 :  responsibility for having done something wrong and especially something against the law <He admitted his guilt.>

  2. 2 :  a feeling of shame or regret as a result of bad conduct

guiltless

\-ləs\ adjective



Medical Dictionary

guilt

play
noun \ˈgilt\

Medical Definition of guilt

  1. :  feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy :  morbid self-reproach often manifest in marked preoccupation with the moral correctness of one's behavior <aggressive responses originating in inner guilt and uncertainty>




Law Dictionary

guilt

noun

Legal Definition of guilt

  1. :  the fact of having committed an offense especially against the law <not enough evidence to establish guilt> — compare innocence



Origin and Etymology of guilt

Old English gylt delinquency



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up guilt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take off or remove

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine frenetic melancholy lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ