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 culpable (audio) \ noun
culpably \ ˈkəl-​pə-​blē How to pronounce culpable (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 Last October, the subcommittee concluded that the Chinese Communist Party was culpable of the crime. Chris Buckley,, "US says China’s repression of Uighurs is ‘genocide’," 19 Jan. 2021 If not as culpable as the Buckeyes' defense, the offense stood in contrast to Alabama's deep and explosive group, particularly with Sermon sidelined. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "With what was at stake against Alabama, this could go down as epic fail for Ohio State defense," 12 Jan. 2021 Most Christian authorities argue that people of conscience are not morally culpable for taking vaccines that were made with aborted fetal material at some level. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Top coronavirus vaccine contenders not developed with aborted fetal cell lines, anti-abortion group reports," 3 Dec. 2020 Under the guise of doing economic research, Yang began digging into the Great Leap Forward, uncovering the scale of the famine and the degree to which the Communist Party was culpable. Barbara Demick, The Atlantic, "Uncovering the Cultural Revolution’s Awful Truths," 18 Dec. 2020 As ill-advised as Daigle’s participation was, Feucht was the more culpable party. Keith Spera,, "Spera: Lauren Daigle New Year's Eve drama shows it's time for mayor to bury the hatchet," 17 Dec. 2020 Who would be more likely to hold all those culpable accountable: Donald Trump or Joe Biden? Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Vote No on 1984," 2 Nov. 2020 His attorneys said this contradicts with prosecutors' assertion that Bernard, who did not shoot the victims, was just as culpable as the other suspects. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Trump's execution spree reflects death penalty system 'shaped by racial bias,' critics say," 24 Dec. 2020 The Biden administration is likely to cut defense spending; the idea of additionally wasting billions to make the wrong decision about Space Command would be an act of culpable folly. Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner, "Space Force belongs in Colorado," 10 Dec. 2020

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

11 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Culpable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for culpable



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 culpable (audio) \ noun
culpableness noun
culpably adverb

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Comments on culpable

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