blame

verb
\ ˈblām How to pronounce blame (audio) \
blamed; blaming

Definition of blame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to find fault with : censure the right to praise or blame a literary work
2a : to hold responsible they blame me for everything
b : to place responsibility for blames it on me
to blame
: at fault : responsible says he's not to blame for the accident

blame

noun

Definition of blame (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an expression of disapproval or reproach : censure … saying nothing … either in the way of blame or praise.— R. L. Stevenson
2a : a state of being blameworthy : culpability … acknowledge the world as a world of common blame,— Muriel Rukeyser
b archaic : fault, sin
3 : responsibility for something believed to deserve censure they must share the blame

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Other Words from blame

Verb

blamer noun

Noun

blameless \ ˈblām-​ləs How to pronounce blameless (audio) \ adjective
blamelessly adverb
blamelessness noun

Is it blame on or blame for?: Usage Guide

Verb

Use of blame in sense 2b with on has occasionally been disparaged as wrong. Such disparagement is without basis; blame on occurs as frequently in carefully edited prose as blame for. Both are standard.

Examples of blame in a Sentence

Verb

Don't blame me. You are responsible for your own problems. My father always blames everything on me. I blame the poor harvest on the weather.

Noun

It's not entirely his fault, but he's not completely free of blame, either. willingly accepted the blame for not seeing that the kitchen was properly cleaned
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The tweet marked the beginning of a daylong anti-Islamic social media attack that blamed all Muslims for ISIS terrorism. Chelsea Bailey, NBC News, "Laura Loomer Banned from Uber & Lyft After Anti-Muslim Tweetstorm," 2 Nov. 2017 Many have blamed Charlotte’s ongoing development boom for the loss of several of the city’s cultural hotspots. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Two years ago, a beloved NoDa music venue closed. Now its owner has a new project," 31 Oct. 2017 But don't blame Alabama for being gun-shy about using Fitzpatrick in that capacity after what happened to Eddie Jackson last season. Rainer Sabin, AL.com, "Four Takeaways from Alabama's win over Tennessee: Tide OC Brian Daboll impresses," 22 Oct. 2017 Despite Matt’s attorneys’ legal analysis of the allegations, Matt has insisted that nothing be said that blames or casts aspersions upon his accusers. Andy Cush, Billboard, "Former Real Estate Guitarist Matt Mondanile Responds to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct," 20 Oct. 2017 Trump blamed Corker for the Iran deal (though the senator did not support its original passage), and mocked his slight stature. Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump's move on Iran deal? At its core, a compromise with his cabinet.," 14 Oct. 2017 In areas around the North Sea and Mediterranean coast, however, later winter storms, indicated by cooler colors, are to blame for flooding. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, "Europe's Rivers Overfloweth," 10 Nov. 2017 American intelligence chiefs blamed those hacking attacks on Russian military intelligence. The Economist, "Manafort overboardDonald Trump’s former campaign chief is indicted," 4 Nov. 2017 But CW Hemp blamed its customer testimonials for going too far. Maggie Fox, NBC News, "Pot Doesn’t Cure Cancer and Stop Saying it Does, FDA Says," 1 Nov. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Thursday’s talks aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear program came to an abrupt end, with the U.S. and North Korea trading blame. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "After Summit Letdown, North Korea’s Kim Meets With ‘Vietnamese Comrades’," 1 Mar. 2019 Polls show people chiefly blame Trump and Republicans for the shutdown and widely dislike the wall. Andrew Taylor, The Seattle Times, "GOP leaders signal no taste for renewing shutdown over wall," 29 Jan. 2019 But who gets the blame, and for how long, is less clear. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Trump’s approval rating drops to Charlottesville levels during shutdown," 27 Dec. 2018 Blame the other guys, who conveniently aren’t around to take the blame. Peter Kafka, Recode, "New Verizon execs say old Verizon execs made a $5 billion mistake betting on AOL and Yahoo," 11 Dec. 2018 The ways Americans assign blame for child-parent separations also suggests the public’s sympathy toward undocumented migrants is limited. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "The public rejected Trump’s child-separation policy, but a majority supports his push to detain families until court hearings," 13 July 2018 Big Pharma wants to shift the blame to health-insurance providers, who fight for consumers every day, using their bargaining power to negotiate lower prices. WSJ, "Insurers’ Lobby Puts Drug Price Blame on Pharma," 14 Feb. 2019 But instead of addressing that concern, DHS, which oversees CBP, initially released a statement about Caal’s death that appears to try to shift blame onto her and her father for making the trek to the US in the first place. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Migrant girl dies in Border Patrol’s custody," 15 Dec. 2018 At the time, DiNardo's call was seen as a power play by the U.S. bishops, who were under fire for having covered for McCarrick for decades, to shift the blame to the Vatican. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Sanctions, sex abuse and silence: A primer on the pope saga," 9 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blame.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of blame

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for blame

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French blamer, blasmer, from Late Latin blasphemare to blaspheme, from Greek blasphēmein

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More Definitions for blame

blame

verb

English Language Learners Definition of blame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to say or think that a person or thing is responsible for something bad that has happened

blame

noun

English Language Learners Definition of blame (Entry 2 of 2)

: responsibility for something that fails or is wrong

blame

verb
\ ˈblām How to pronounce blame (audio) \
blamed; blaming

Kids Definition of blame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to find fault with Who could blame her for wanting to leave?
2 : to hold responsible He blamed me for everything.
3 : to place responsibility for Don't blame the mistake on us.

blame

noun

Kids Definition of blame (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : responsibility for something that fails or is wrong They took blame for the defeat.
2 criticism sense 1 I heard both praise and blame.

Other Words from blame

blameless \ ˈblām-​ləs \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on blame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blame

Spanish Central: Translation of blame

Nglish: Translation of blame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blame for Arabic Speakers

Comments on blame

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