guilty

adjective
\ ˈgil-tē \
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 \ adverb
guiltiness \ ˈgil-​tē-​nəs \ 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

Three other defendants have pleaded guilty, including Thomas Whittle, a former KPMG partner who helped oversee audit quality at the firm, and Brian Sweet, a former PCAOB employee who later joined KPMG. Michael Rapoport, WSJ, "KPMG Ex-Partner Goes on Trial in ‘Steal the Exam’ Scandal," 11 Feb. 2019 Jassy noted any law-enforcement agency that violates AWS' terms of service or is found guilty of a constitutional rights violation would have to curtail using the product, but stressed the regulatory imperative is mainly on governments. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Can Anyone Stop Our Slide into Face-Scanning Dystopia?," 9 Nov. 2018 In 2012, he'd be found guilty of grand larceny and second-degree murder. Jason Zengerle, Town & Country, "Brett Kavanaugh and the Private School Pecking Order," 16 Oct. 2018 Clooney is representing Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were arrested in December 2017 and sentenced this month to seven years in prison after being found guilty of possessing Myanmar state secrets. Kayleigh Roberts, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amal Clooney Wore a Powerful Red Dress to the United Nations General Assembly," 29 Sep. 2018 Manafort’s defense lawyers have disagreed, but under the terms of the agreement, Manafort cannot withdraw his guilty plea. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "WikiLeaks calls for Guardian editor’s decapitation if Manafort story proves false," 27 Nov. 2018 Perhaps the most high-profile of those guilty pleas came from Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "Bill Clinton says impeachment hearings would have begun already if a Democrat were president," 2 Oct. 2018 Jones entered a not guilty plea at her arraignment Thursday. CBS News, "Woman charged with attempted murder in beating of man, 92, with brick," 13 July 2018 Mueller’s investigation has also secured other guilty pleas. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, "Ahead of Trump's meeting with Putin, Mueller indicts 12 Russians for hacking DNC emails," 13 July 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

19 Feb 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 \
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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