blame·​wor·​thy ˈblām-ˌwər-t͟hē How to pronounce blameworthy (audio)
: being at fault : deserving blame
blameworthiness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for blameworthy

blameworthy, blamable, guilty, culpable mean deserving reproach or punishment.

blameworthy and blamable apply to any degree of reprehensibility.

conduct adjudged blameworthy
an accident for which no one is blamable

guilty implies responsibility for or consciousness of crime, sin, or, at the least, grave error or misdoing.

guilty of a breach of etiquette

culpable is weaker than guilty and is likely to connote malfeasance or errors of ignorance, omission, or negligence.

culpable neglect

Examples of blameworthy in a Sentence

Their failure to adequately inform participants of the risks was morally blameworthy. we were all equally blameworthy, whether we had openly approved the free-speech restrictions or simply kept quiet about them
Recent Examples on the Web Those blameworthy influencers, in turn, must identify their respective influences and apportion blame among them. Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 In a study that gave participants a scenario of an accidental fire that caused property damage, speakers of languages like English that give agentive descriptions tended to judge the plaintiff as more blameworthy and award them higher financial penalties. Sofia Quaglia, WIRED, 19 July 2023 The most dramatic takeaway from the video is the outsized role the northern hemisphere plays in the global spread of greenhouse gasses, compared to the far less blameworthy south. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 29 June 2023 For the attorney general’s purposes, Tanisha needed to inhabit contradictory roles: moral and credible enough for a jury to trust, but blameworthy and sufficiently deplorable to exist as an extension of the man who killed Kevin and to therefore merit her own conviction. Justine Van Der Leun, The New Republic, 17 Dec. 2020 But where that entry is not successful, once again, fingers will be pointed at those perceived as blameworthy. David Reichenberg, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 Those who intentionally seek to inflict injury are considered most blameworthy, while those who cause harm through negligence, or failure to exercise ordinary care, are least culpable. Jess Bravin, WSJ, 10 June 2021 The idea of violent crimes as a separate universe, categorically more dangerous and blameworthy than other offenses, dates back little more than half a century. David Alan Sklansky, Time, 7 Apr. 2021 These stories run a big-haired gamut in terms of individual culpability, but in every case, popular culture found a way to blame the woman, often to excuse a more blameworthy man. New York Times, 2 Mar. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of blameworthy was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near blameworthy

Cite this Entry

“Blameworthy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


blame·​wor·​thy ˈblām-ˌwər-t͟hē How to pronounce blameworthy (audio)
: deserving blame
blameworthiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on blameworthy

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