\ 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



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

Other Words from blame


blamer noun


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for blame

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Is it blame on or blame for?: Usage Guide


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
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, 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, 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,, 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, 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, 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, 10 Nov. 2017 American intelligence chiefs blamed those hacking attacks on Russian military intelligence. The Economist, 4 Nov. 2017 But CW Hemp blamed its customer testimonials for going too far. Maggie Fox, NBC News, 1 Nov. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Such awareness helps leaders respond effectively to mistakes because not all mistakes need reprimanding or blame apportionment. Steve Taplin, Forbes, 6 May 2022 The popular perception, one that has endured, lays the blame squarely on Spectacular Bid’s 19-year-old jockey. Olive Fellows, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 May 2022 Tell me a little more about the blame the pro-choice movement shares. Alexandra Zayas, ProPublica, 5 May 2022 In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pinned the blame for the possibility Roe v. Wade maybe overturned on Republican senators and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 3 May 2022 If the deal blows up, either Twitter or Musk would be on the hook for $1 billion in damages (depending on which side takes the blame). Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022 To a certain degree the blame is unjustified: Germany’s defense ministry, and by extension the armed forces, had been under the control of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats for the past 16 years. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 26 Apr. 2022 But how much credit can Cranley take for Cincinnati's successes and how much blame should Whaley receive for Dayton's longstanding problems? Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 25 Apr. 2022 The major scandal only came to an end in 2016 with the publication of a detailed report that apportioned blame and was followed by the jailing of some responsible. Patrick Frater, Variety, 24 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of blame


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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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Time Traveler for blame

Time Traveler

The first known use of blame was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Blame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for blame


\ 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.



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

More from Merriam-Webster on blame

Nglish: Translation of blame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blame for Arabic Speakers


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