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 Cruz shifted blame away from the Trump administration for the policy. Jeremy Wallace, Houston Chronicle, "Ted Cruz seizes on Beto O’Rourke’s willingness to consider abolishing ICE," 6 July 2018 Moreover, as an unfamiliar activity, cycling tended to catch the blame for pretty much anything bad that happened to a new rider afterward, up to and including death. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wheel, the Woman, and the Human Body," 6 July 2018 While 37 percent said the Trump administration was responsible, another 35 percent said the migrant families should shoulder the blame for attempting to enter the United States. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s mockery of the #MeToo movement underscores the GOP’s problem with women in 2018," 6 July 2018 The chemical weapons organization, based in the Netherlands, does not designate blame for chemical attacks. Fox News, "Watchdog: More time needed on alleged Syria chemical attack," 6 July 2018 Messi shouldered the blame for his team's failure to beat Iceland after skying a penalty kick that would have won the match and secured a top slot for the team. Julia Poe, SI.com, "How to Watch France vs Argentina: World Cup Live Stream, TV Channel, Time," 30 June 2018 The president will have trouble escaping blame for this. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Trump Plots to Erase His Tax Cut," 27 June 2018 In doing so, Trump has allowed his base to believe that taking children from their families is a necessary evil to secure the borders, and when pressed on why this is happening, the Trump administration merely shifts the blame to Congress. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Jeff Sessions Explaining How the Trump Administration Is Not Like Nazi Germany Is Peak Dumpster Fire," 19 June 2018 But there's broad bipartisan agreement in Washington that in assessing blame for the FBI's mistakes, the inspector general's office squarely hit its mark. NBC News, "DOJ report on Clinton probe hits its mark: Comey," 14 June 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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Statistics for blame

Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blame

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

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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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