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mea culpa

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noun mea cul·pa \ˌmā-ə-ˈku̇l-pə, ˌmā-ä-, -ˈku̇l-(ˌ)pä\

Simple Definition of mea culpa

  • : a statement in which you say that something is your fault

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of mea culpa

  1. :  a formal acknowledgment of personal fault or error

Examples of mea culpa in a sentence

  1. The mayor's public mea culpa didn't satisfy his critics.



Did You Know?

Mea culpa, which means "through my fault" in Latin, comes from a prayer of confession in the Catholic Church. Said by itself, it's an exclamation of apology or remorse that is used to mean "It was my fault" or "I apologize." Mea culpa is also a noun, however. A newspaper might issue a mea culpa for printing inaccurate information, or a politician might give a speech making mea culpas for past wrongdoings. Mea culpa is one of many English terms that derive from the Latin culpa, meaning "guilt." Some other examples are culpable ("meriting condemnation or blame especially as wrong or harmful") and culprit ("one guilty of a crime or a fault").

Origin of mea culpa

Latin, through my fault


First Known Use: 1602


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