cul·​pa·​ble | \ ˈkəl-pə-bəl How to pronounce culpable (audio) \

Definition of culpable

1 : meriting condemnation or blame especially as wrong or harmful culpable negligence The defendant is culpable for her actions.
2 archaic : guilty, criminal

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Other Words from culpable

culpableness \ ˈkəl-​pə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce culpableness (audio) \ noun
culpably \ ˈkəl-​pə-​blē How to pronounce culpably (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for culpable

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 culpable in a Sentence

They held her culpable for the accident. He's more culpable than the others because he's old enough to know better.
Recent Examples on the Web Those costs will rise even higher if PG&E is found culpable for the latest round of fires to rage through parts of Northern California last month. Washington Post, "PG&E falls into deeper hole in 3Q with $1.6 billion loss," 7 Nov. 2019 The guards were equally culpable for what happened in last Saturday’s 59-44 loss to Baylor, which jumped up to No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press rankings. Nick Moyle,, "To stay afloat in Big 12, Texas needs Jericho Sims to stay aggressive," 7 Jan. 2020 The building's owner, Rihan, who goes by one name, was detained on suspicion of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Mittal said. Arkansas Online, "Devastating factory fire kills at least 43 in Indian capital," 8 Dec. 2019 State Attorney Mike Satz announced Tuesday that 56-year-old Scot Peterson faces child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury charges. Terry Spencer, The Denver Post, "Florida deputy charged after staying outside school shooting," 4 June 2019 More than a year after the massacre, the former Broward County sheriff's deputy now faces child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury charges. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "This is what Scot Peterson did during the Parkland school shooting," 4 June 2019 Scot Peterson, 56, faces child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury charges, State Attorney Mike Satz said in the announcement. CBS News, "Florida deputy charged after staying outside during Parkland school shooting," 4 June 2019 In cases where deaths occur as a result of negligence, defendants also usually face culpable homicide charges. Julhas Alam, The Seattle Times, "Bangladesh police arrest building owners over fatal blaze," 31 Mar. 2019 Adrian Harper, 27, of Miramar, is facing a misdemeanor charge of culpable negligence inflicting harm. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Teenage Uber passenger accidentally shot by driver, Florida police say," 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'culpable.' 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 culpable

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for culpable

Middle English coupable, from Anglo-French cupable, culpable, from Latin culpabilis, from culpare to blame, from culpa guilt

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Time Traveler for culpable

Time Traveler

The first known use of culpable was in the 14th century

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Statistics for culpable

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Culpable.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for culpable


How to pronounce culpable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of culpable

formal : deserving blame : guilty of doing something wrong


cul·​pa·​ble | \ ˈkəl-pə-bəl How to pronounce culpable (audio) \

Legal Definition of culpable

: deserving condemnation or blame as wrong or harmful

Other Words from culpable

culpability \ ˌkəl-​pə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce culpability (audio) \ noun
culpableness noun
culpably adverb

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Comments on culpable

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


to express in a more acceptable way

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