blame

1 of 2

verb

blamed; blaming

transitive verb

1
: to find fault with : censure
the right to praise or blame a literary work
2
a
: to hold responsible
they blame me for everything
b
: to place responsibility for
blames it on me
blamer noun
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.

blame

2 of 2

noun

1
: an expression of disapproval or reproach : censure
… saying nothing … either in the way of blame or praise.R. L. Stevenson
2
a
: 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
blameless adjective
blamelessly adverb
blamelessness noun
Phrases
to blame
: at fault : responsible
says he's not to blame for the accident

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
Biden is calling for Congress to approve $6 billion to keep the program funded through the end of the year, and blaming GOP legislators for its wind-down affecting 23 million Americans. Aaron Gettinger, arkansasonline.com, 2 Apr. 2024 A couple of students threw out suggestions: no running around the room, no interrupting, no blaming others, nobody is better than anybody else. Ariel Gilreath, USA TODAY, 2 Apr. 2024 Spencer denied wrongdoing and blamed critical media coverage and poor pay for staff shortages. Daniel Bice, Journal Sentinel, 2 Apr. 2024 His office blames a heat wave for surging demand, as well as events out of the municipal government's control — like a lightning strike at a water pump station at the start of March. Kate Bartlett, NPR, 1 Apr. 2024 Ten days later, a U.S. Special Operations retaliatory drone strike in Baghdad killed a senior leader of a militia that American officials blame for the attacks on American personnel. Michael Levenson, New York Times, 1 Apr. 2024 Naturally, Springsteen blames David (and the water glass incident) for the show’s cancelation on social media, causing his fans to attack the comedian. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024 Minaj recovered from the faux pas (after her first attempt at covering herself) but jokingly blamed her fans for the mishap. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 1 Apr. 2024 The carrier blamed the manufacturer’s issues for a pilot hiring freeze. Melvin Backman, Quartz, 29 Mar. 2024
Noun
The company is also facing lawsuits involving its Autopilot software, which question whether the driver is solely responsible when things go wrong in a vehicle guided by Autopilot, or if the software should also bear some of the blame. Trisha Thadani, Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2024 Both remain hurt over the blame their team shouldered for decades after the program was shut down. Joe Drape, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2024 Rather than reacting impulsively or assigning blame, try to prioritize understanding. Ellie Victor, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Indeed, multiple people familiar with the matter have told me that the infighting among NBC executives over who was at fault for the disaster has reached a fever pitch, with various factions of the NBCU News Group assigning blame to others. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024 An inquiry later assigned blame to the bridge’s engineers. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Mar. 2024 Ukraine has denied any role in the attack, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Putin of seeking to divert blame for the attack by mentioning Ukraine, something Macron said was a mistake. Lidia Kelly and Philippa Fletcher, USA TODAY, 25 Mar. 2024 Some aviation experts have said the airline incidents such as those affecting United’s Boeing planes are more common than consumers might think and that United may share some of the blame with Boeing, the manufacturer. Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez, Fortune, 18 Mar. 2024 However, jurors assigned 30% of the blame to Dugan — reducing the amount Tesla owes the estate to $42,481,243. Tim Evans, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blame.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near blame

Cite this Entry

“Blame.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blame. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

blame

1 of 2 verb
blamed; blaming
1
: to find fault with : censure
2
a
: to hold responsible
blame them for everything
b
: to place responsibility for
blames it on me
blamable
ˈblā-mə-bəl
adjective
blamably
-blē
adverb
blamer noun

blame

2 of 2 noun
1
: expression of disapproval
receive both blame and praise
2
: responsibility for something that fails : fault
take the blame for the defeat
Etymology

Verb

Middle English blamen "to find fault with," from early French blamer, blasmer (same meaning), from Latin blasphemare "to speak ill of," from Greek blasphemein "to blaspheme" — related to blaspheme

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