guilty

adjective
\ ˈgil-tē How to pronounce guilty (audio) \
guiltier; guiltiest

Definition of guilty

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 obsolete : justly liable to or deserving of a penalty
3a : suggesting or involving guilt The children exchanged guilty looks.
b : aware of or suffering from guilt guilty consciences

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Other Words from guilty

guiltily \ ˈgil-​tə-​lē How to pronounce guiltily (audio) \ adverb
guiltiness \ ˈgil-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce guiltiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for guilty

Synonyms

ashamed, shamed, shamefaced

Antonyms

shameless, unashamed

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of guilty in a Sentence

Do you think he's innocent or guilty? Will the defendant plead guilty or not guilty? The children exchanged guilty looks. He was acting like someone with a guilty conscience. There's no need to feel guilty about it.
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Recent Examples on the Web

High-end college consultant Allen Koh was shocked to learn his colleague and competitor Rick Singer pleaded guilty to crimes including conspiracy and racketeering. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Sixteen Parents Indicted in College Admissions Scandal," 9 Apr. 2019 Jones was sentenced to only two years of probation after pleading guilty to the latter count in 2018. Terry Spencer, The Seattle Times, "AP Investigation: Florida gets tougher on massage-parlor sex," 31 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, in an unrelated criminal case, the jury has met for three days to consider whether George Johnson is guilty of conspiracy and bribery. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Judge slams Johnson Utilities' service, says company needs an emergency manager," 12 July 2018 Our larger community of outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers is too often guilty of denigrating otherwise like-minded people who look different from them or enjoy nature in different ways. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "In Defense of Off-Roading," 12 July 2018 His defense lawyers have admitted Cruz is guilty, and are hoping the details of his long-running mental-health woes may one day save him from Death Row. Nicholas Nehamas And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "‘I can go shoot them.’ Another threat from Parkland school shooter went ignored.," 11 July 2018 Singer pleaded guilty to four federal charges on Tuesday. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Who Is William Singer, the Man at the Center of the College Admissions Fraud Scandal?," 13 Mar. 2019 The sentencing memo was filed in connection with two counts of conspiracy Mr. Manafort pleaded guilty to last year in Washington, after he was convicted of tax and bank fraud in a separate case in Virginia. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Paul Manafort Committed ‘Bold’ Crimes, Mueller’s Team Says," 23 Feb. 2019 In 2017, Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE pleaded guilty in a US sanctions case and agreed to pay almost $900 million to the US. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The arrest of Huawei’s Sabrina Meng is a “warning shot” in US-China relations.," 6 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of guilty

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for guilty

see guilt entry 1

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Statistics for guilty

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for guilty

The first known use of guilty was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for guilty

guilty

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of guilty

: 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

adjective
\ ˈgil-tē How to pronounce guilty (audio) \
guiltier; guiltiest

Kids Definition of guilty

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

Other Words from guilty

guiltily \ -​tə-​lē \ adverb

guilty

adjective
guiltier; guiltiest

Legal Definition of guilty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having committed a crime : justly charged with a specified crime guilty of larceny
2 : involving guilt or culpability guilty knowledge

guilty

noun

Legal Definition of guilty (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on guilty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guilty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guilty

Spanish Central: Translation of guilty

Nglish: Translation of guilty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guilty for Arabic Speakers

Comments on guilty

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