guilty

play
adjective \ˈgil-tē\

Definition of guilty

guiltier

;

guiltiest

  1. 1 :  justly chargeable with or responsible for a usually grave breach of conduct or a crime Does the defendant plead guilty or not guilty?

  2. 2 obsolete :  justly liable to or deserving of a penalty

  3. 3a :  suggesting or involving guilt The children exchanged guilty looks.b :  aware of or suffering from guilt guilty consciences

guiltily

play \ˈgil-tə-lē\ adverb

guiltiness

play \ˈgil-tē-nəs\ noun

Examples of guilty in a Sentence

  1. Do you think he's innocent or guilty?

  2. Will the defendant plead guilty or not guilty?

  3. The children exchanged guilty looks.

  4. He was acting like someone with a guilty conscience.

  5. There's no need to feel guilty about it.

Recent Examples of guilty from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of guilty

see guilt


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of guilty

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


GUILTY Defined for English Language Learners

guilty

play
adjective

Definition of guilty for English Language Learners

  • : responsible for committing a crime or doing something bad or wrong

  • : showing that you know you have done something bad or wrong

  • : feeling bad because you have done something bad or wrong or because you believe you have done something bad or wrong


GUILTY Defined for Kids

guilty

play
adjective \ˈgil-tē\

Definition of guilty for Students

guiltier

;

guiltiest

  1. 1 :  responsible for having done wrong

  2. 2 :  suffering from or showing bad feelings about having done wrong I feel guilty about lying.

guiltily

\-tə-lē\ adverb

Law Dictionary

1

guilty

adjective

Legal Definition of guilty

guiltier

guiltiest

  1. 1 :  having committed a crime :  justly charged with a specified crime guilty of larceny

  2. 2 :  involving guilt or culpabilityguilty knowledge


2

guilty

noun

Legal Definition of guilty

  1. 1 :  a plea of a criminal defendant who does not intend to contest the charges

  2. 2 :  a verdict of a jury that believes the defendant committed the crime charged — compare nolo contendere, not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

the point at which something begins

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!