blame

verb
\ˈblām \
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 \ 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

But if there had been a heist, Johnson, who finished in third place, knew where the blame lay. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "U.S. Open: Dustin Johnson’s Wayward Short Game Makes for a Long Sunday," 17 June 2018 Republican consultant Gregg Keller said last month that if Corlew lost the race the blame would fall squarely on Greitens' shoulders. Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "Democrat Arthur wins Missouri election in Northland days after Greitens resigns," 5 June 2018 Many people believe that the blame lies with the girls and women involved, rather than the perpetrator, and survivors face shame and stigma. Azza Soliman, Time, "How #MeToo and #TimesUp Are Helping Egyptian Women Break the Silence Around Sexual Violence," 17 May 2018 The state responded to the allegations in a court filing in March, arguing the blame was solely on Henthorne and the aunt. Molly Young, OregonLive.com, "Changes for Oregon's struggling foster care system: Longtime manager will be replaced," 11 May 2018 But even allowing for some understandable defensiveness, Tesla's responses to criticism contrast with the more contrite public comments many consumer companies take after a fatality or serious problem, whether or not the blame is immediately clear. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Elon Musk and Tesla pull few punches defending pioneering car company, even after accidents," 30 Apr. 2018 The blame went to video games, bullying, parents, the culture at large. Longreads, "The Top 5 Longreads of the Week," 28 Mar. 2018 But Letts surveys her life with uncommon empathy, never judging her missteps or seeking to place blame. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mary Page Marlowe': Theater Review," 13 July 2018 Rodriguez called for responsible gun use and an increased emphasis on mental health, instead of placing the blame on guns themselves. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Heard at rally for 2nd Amendment rights: 'We aren’t letting our guns go'," 7 July 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

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

Noun

see blame entry 1

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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 \
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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