guilt

noun \ ˈgilt \

Definition of guilt

1 :the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty
  • A jury will determine the defendant's guilt or innocence.
; broadly :guilty conduct
2 a :the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously
  • His guilt was written in his face.
b :feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy :self-reproach
3 :a feeling of deserving blame for offenses
  • Wracked by guilt, he confessed his affairs.

Examples of guilt in a Sentence

  1. The jury determines the defendant's guilt or innocence.

  2. His guilt in the matter was indisputable.

  3. It was clear that the guilt lay with him.

  4. a strong sense of guilt

  5. She feels guilt over something that happened before she was born!

  6. our secret guilts and insecurities

Recent Examples of guilt from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guilt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of guilt

Middle English, delinquency, guilt, from Old English gylt delinquency



GUILT Defined for English Language Learners

guilt

noun

Definition of guilt for English Language Learners

  • : responsibility for a crime or for doing something bad or wrong

  • : a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong


GUILT Defined for Kids

guilt

noun \ ˈgilt \

Definition of guilt for Students

1 :responsibility for having done something wrong and especially something against the law
  • He admitted his guilt.
2 :a feeling of shame or regret as a result of bad conduct

guiltless

\-ləs\ adjective

Medical Dictionary

guilt

noun \ ˈgilt \

medical Definition of guilt

:feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy :morbid self-reproach often manifest in marked preoccupation with the moral correctness of one's behavior
  • aggressive responses originating in inner guilt and uncertainty

Law Dictionary

guilt

noun

legal Definition of guilt

:the fact of having committed an offense especially against the law
  • not enough evidence to establish guilt
— compare innocence

Origin and Etymology of guilt

Old English gylt delinquency



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