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
2a : 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
The jury determines the defendant's guilt or innocence.
His guilt in the matter was indisputable.
It was clear that the guilt lay with him.
a strong sense of guilt
She feels guilt over something that happened before she was born!
our secret guilts and insecurities
Recent Examples of guilt from the Web
Martin, 43, entered an Alford plea in November, meaning the defendant does not admit to guilt but agrees the state has enough evidence to convict him.
Arrest does not imply guilt, and criminal charges are merely accusations.
But that’s only compared with all the other dread-inducing omens of future techno-hell in that series. This magazine’s cover-story predicting Mad Max conditions pretty damn soon on planet earth wasn’t exactly a guilt-free beach read either.
Post-war guilt may play a role as Germany’s cure for its past becomes nearly as obsessive as the behavior that led to the disease in the first place.
A focus on individual innocence or guilt works to the white Establishment’s advantage.
True: Hiring attorneys is in no way an admission of guilt, and no one should read it that way.
Under his guidance, the Trumps settled by agreeing to stipulations to prevent future discrimination at their properties—but came away without admitting guilt.
Ms. Harrington was dismayed to learn her daughter still harbored some guilt when the topic came up recently.
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
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
GUILT Defined for English Language Learners
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
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
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
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
Seen and Heard
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