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 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 But the other thing is, the federal government is the culpable party insofar as its federal policies and practices, as well as federal inaction, that has created this enormous gulf in wealth between blacks and whites. Kevin T. Dugan, Rolling Stone, 4 June 2021 Smith who helped organize the event said that the march was to symbolize unity and that this would ultimately help find the culpable parties. Liz Navratil, Star Tribune, 23 May 2021 That means many adults are more culpable than Amanda for the ultimate animal abuse that occurred. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2021 China’s officials may well be culpable of a combination of incompetence, recklessness and deceit. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 7 June 2021 Sports journalist Julie DiCaro told NPR the media was somewhat culpable and could stand to make space for athletes of color to question the merits of rules that take a greater toll on them than on their white counterparts. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 1 June 2021 In March, the San Isidro prosecutors' office delegated an independent medical board to determine if the health professionals were in any way culpable for Maradona's death. Tommy Beer, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Does 1 to 10, which represents individuals who are not yet known but may be culpable in the case. Marlene Lenthang, ABC News, 12 May 2021

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

23 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Culpable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on culpable

Nglish: Translation of culpable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of culpable for Arabic Speakers


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