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

Godejohn was found guilty of first-degree murder after a four day trial last year. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Nicholas Godejohn? Gypsy Blanchard's Boyfriend Plays a Key Role in The Act," 2 May 2019 In 1991, he was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "How Rebecca Schaeffer's Horrific Murder Led to the Nation's First Anti-Stalking Law," 12 Apr. 2019 But Tann was hesitant to share the name of his seller at the risk of implicating someone who was at least innocent until proven guilty. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 And don't spend one second feeling guilty about it! 16. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Woman's Day, "30 Fun Things to Do By Yourself in Your Lifetime," 3 Jan. 2019 Others — especially those who inherited their fortunes — feel guilty and undeserving of their riches. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Anyone close to us knows that we‘re guilty of turning everything (even our honeymoon lol) into a big group thing. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Property Brothers' Drew Scott on Balancing Work and Married Life With Wife Linda," 19 Nov. 2018 Nicholas Mandato, 20, of Dagsboro, Del., was arraigned on a murder charge in the Haverhill session held at Newburyport District Court, where a not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf. Jerome Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "Family of slain Haverhill teen recalls boy’s ‘legacy of love’ as alleged killer arraigned," 12 July 2018 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

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

14 May 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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