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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from blame

Verb

blamer noun

Noun

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for blame

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
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 Iran admitted to inadvertently shooting down the plane days after the incident but at first, lied to its country and denied any responsibility, placing the blame on a technical error. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Iran ends cooperation with Ukraine after release of audio showing it knew of airliner missile attack," 4 Feb. 2020 However, Tuesday's brawl that broke out at the end of the Kansas-Kansas State game caused the Jayhawks coach to place the blame squarely on himself and his staff, as well as the players involved. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Discussing 'negative cloud,' Kansas coach Bill Self takes responsibility for brawl, blames administration for Snoop Dogg fiasco," 25 Jan. 2020 Their attorneys have placed blame on the systematic failures and difficult conditions at MCC. David Shortell, CNN, "The former warden of the prison where Jeffrey Epstein died has a new job at another federal penitentiary," 24 Jan. 2020 Warren, however, has directly placed the blame on Sanders for the talking points, not his campaign's employees. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Warren and Sanders set to take the gloves off at Tuesday's debate," 13 Jan. 2020 President Trump placed blame for the deaths on the children’s fathers, who had signed intake waivers stating that their children did not need medical care. Rachel Nolan, The New Yorker, "A Translation Crisis at the Border," 30 Dec. 2019 Those facts didn’t stop John Fabbricatore, deputy field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Denver, from railing against lawmakers placing blame at the state Capitol. Doug Friednash, The Denver Post, "Friednash: ICE officials are weaving a false web about Colorado’s “sanctuary state”," 5 Dec. 2019 Nagy firmly placed the blame on Miller for Trubisky’s interception against the Rams. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The Bears’ 2018 draft class has underwhelmed — a big reason for their struggles with a shortage of picks this year," 22 Nov. 2019 But much in the same way that climate activists and national Democratic politicians have rejected the fossil fuel industry, Californians have gladly placed blame on the utility. Justin Worland, Time, "California's Outages Show How Climate Change and Corporate Accountability Are Entangled," 18 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blame

Time Traveler for blame

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for blame

Cite this Entry

“Blame.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blames. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blame

blame

verb
How to pronounce blame (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up blame? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!