incriminate

verb

in·​crim·​i·​nate in-ˈkri-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce incriminate (audio)
incriminated; incriminating

transitive verb

: to charge with or show evidence or proof of involvement in a crime or fault
incrimination noun
incriminatory adjective

Did you know?

Testimony may incriminate a suspect by placing him at the scene of a crime, and incriminating evidence is the kind that strongly links him to it. But the word doesn't always refer to an actual crime. We can say, for instance, that a virus has been incriminated as the cause of a type of cancer, or that video games have been incriminated in the decline in study skills among young people.

Example Sentences

Material found at the crime scene incriminates the defendant. in exchange for a reduced sentence, the thief agreed to incriminate his accomplice
Recent Examples on the Web Kelli Ward refused to answer questions during a deposition with investigators with the Jan. 6 committee, according to statements made by the panel's lawyers at a hearing, citing her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself. The Arizona Republic, 25 Oct. 2022 Trump criticized the fact that authorities displayed the documents on the floor for pictures and suggested it was done to incriminate him. Arkansas Online, 2 Sep. 2022 Trump criticized the fact that authorities displayed the documents on the floor for pictures and suggested it was done to incriminate him. Bill Faries, Fortune, 31 Aug. 2022 Maybe Threepwood has to pick from five dialogue options in a sensitive conversation, and each happens to equally incriminate the series' famously unremarkable pirate. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 19 Sep. 2022 In a criminal case, a jury will not be told that a person refused to answer questions on the basis that his response might incriminate him. Barbara Mcquade, Time, 22 Sep. 2022 Local law enforcement agencies would also be prohibited from retaining and then searching victim DNA to incriminate them in unrelated crimes under the legislation, which is pending before Gov. Gavin Newsom. CBS News, 13 Sep. 2022 Knight, Republican Oklahoma state Rep. Kevin McDugle, other Oklahoma state legislators and advocates for Glossip claim that he was wrongly accused after an investigator allegedly convinced Sneed to incriminate Glossip in his testimony. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 13 Aug. 2022 Nor did Schroeder incriminate himself in a civil case in reliance on Griffin's letter, Borowski found. Bruce Vielmetti, Journal Sentinel, 22 June 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Late Latin incriminatus, past participle of incriminare, from Latin in- + crimin-, crimen crime

First Known Use

circa 1736, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of incriminate was circa 1736

Dictionary Entries Near incriminate

Cite this Entry

“Incriminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incriminate. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

incriminate

verb

in·​crim·​i·​nate in-ˈkrim-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce incriminate (audio)
incriminated; incriminating
1
: to charge with or show evidence or proof of involvement in a crime or fault : accuse
2
: to cause to appear guilty of or responsible for something
evidence that tends to incriminate the defendant
incrimination noun
incriminatory adjective

Legal Definition

incriminate

transitive verb

in·​crim·​i·​nate in-ˈkri-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce incriminate (audio)
incriminated; incriminating
1
: to charge with involvement in a crime
he was incriminated in the conspiracy
2
: to suggest or show involvement of in a crime
among the evidence that incriminated him was a box of trigger devices
see also self-incrimination
incrimination noun
incriminatory adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on incriminate

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