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

guilty

play
adjective, \ˈgil-tē\

Simple Definition of guilty

  • : responsible for committing a crime or doing something bad or wrong

  • : showing that you know you have done something bad or wrong

  • : feeling bad because you have done something bad or wrong or because you believe you have done something bad or wrong

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of guilty

guiltierguiltiest

  1. 1 :  justly chargeable with or responsible for a usually grave breach of conduct or a crime

  2. 2 obsolete :  justly liable to or deserving of a penalty

  3. 3 a :  suggesting or involving guilt b :  aware of or suffering from guilt <guilty consciences>

guiltily play \-tə-lē\ adverb
guiltiness play \-tē-nəs\ noun

Examples of guilty in a sentence

  1. Do you think he's innocent or guilty?

  2. Will the defendant plead guilty or not guilty?

  3. The children exchanged guilty looks.

  4. He was acting like someone with a guilty conscience.

  5. There's no need to feel guilty about it.



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of guilty

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of guilty

blameworthy, blamable, guilty, culpable mean deserving reproach or punishment. blameworthy and blamable apply to any degree of reprehensibility <conduct adjudged blameworthy> <an accident for which no one is blamable>. guilty implies responsibility for or consciousness of crime, sin, or, at the least, grave error or misdoing <guilty of a breach of etiquette>. culpable is weaker than guilty and is likely to connote malfeasance or errors of ignorance, omission, or negligence <culpable neglect>.

Rhymes with guilty



GUILTY Defined for Kids

guilty

play
adjective \ˈgil-tē\

Definition of guilty for Students

guiltierguiltiest

  1. 1 :  responsible for having done wrong

  2. 2 :  suffering from or showing bad feelings about having done wrong <I feel guilty about lying.>

guiltily \-tə-lē\ adverb



Law Dictionary

1

guilty

adjective

Legal Definition of guilty

guiltierguiltiest

  1. 1 :  having committed a crime :  justly charged with a specified crime <guilty of larceny>

  2. 2 :  involving guilt or culpability<guilty knowledge>




2

guilty

noun

Legal Definition of guilty

  1. 1 :  a plea of a criminal defendant who does not intend to contest the charges

  2. 2 :  a verdict of a jury that believes the defendant committed the crime charged — compare nolo contendere, not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by grandiloquent style

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce soothe perplex disapprove
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