incriminate

verb
in·crim·i·nate | \in-ˈkri-mə-ˌnāt \
incriminated; incriminating

Definition of incriminate 

transitive verb

: to charge with or show evidence or proof of involvement in a crime or fault

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Other Words from incriminate

incrimination \in-ˌkri-mə-ˈnā-shən \ noun
incriminatory \in-ˈkrim-nə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˈkri-mə- \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for incriminate

Synonyms

accuse, charge, impeach, indict

Antonyms

absolve, acquit, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate

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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.

Examples of incriminate in a Sentence

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

In that case, a murder trial against his cousin, Rainey was supposed to be a key prosecution witness, but recanted on the stand and said homicide detectives had beaten and threatened him into making incriminating statements. Mensah M. Dean, Philly.com, "3 charged, none convicted: Why a North Philly murder remains unsolved," 29 May 2018 Sanders said Wednesday that the White House is cooperating with the Russia investigation and wasn’t concerned that Bannon’s testimony could incriminate members of Trump’s team. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "White House acknowledges telling Bannon not to answer questions in Russia probe," 17 Jan. 2018 The First Amendment provides freedom of speech, press and religion and the Fifth Amendment permits a witness to refuse to testify on the ground his testimony may tend to incriminate him. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 7, 1955: Steinmetz called Communist at hearing," 7 July 2018 Tisaby declined last month to answer questions for attorneys, invoking his right to avoid incriminating himself. Washington Post, "Prosecutor-as-witness move sinks case against Greitens," 16 May 2018 During the broadcast, Meighan alleges that police scrubbed their report of all incriminating information about both him and Thorpe. Julie Miller, HWD, "The Secret, Real-Life Love Affair Behind A Very English Scandal," 1 July 2018 But chemical compounds from marijuana can remain in the blood for 15 days or more after use and deliver an incriminating positive result. Sam Wood, Philly.com, "Medical marijuana patients, legally banned from driving, may get a pass in Pa.," 18 June 2018 In October 2017, the New York Times published an exposé that solidified swirling rumors about Harvey Weinstein's behavior with tangible, incriminating proof. refinery29.com, "Ashley Judd Was a #MeToo Heroine Years Before the Movement Began: A Timeline," 2 May 2018 The meeting, one focus of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference, was organized after an intermediary promised that Ms. Veselnitskaya would deliver documents that would incriminate Mrs. Clinton. Andrew E. Kramer And Sharon Lafraniere, New York Times, "Lawyer Who Was Said to Have Dirt on Clinton Had Closer Ties to Kremlin Than She Let On," 27 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of incriminate

circa 1736, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for incriminate

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

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for incriminate

The first known use of incriminate was circa 1736

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More Definitions for incriminate

incriminate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of incriminate

: to cause (someone) to appear guilty of or responsible for something (such as a crime)

incriminate

verb
in·crim·i·nate | \in-ˈkri-mə-ˌnāt \
incriminated; incriminating

Kids Definition of incriminate

: to make (someone) appear guilty of or responsible for something … the story of how it had fallen into his hands incriminated not only him, but his own father …— J. K. Rowling, Goblet of Fire

incriminate

transitive verb
in·crim·i·nate | \in-ˈkri-mə-ˌnāt \
incriminated; incriminating

Legal Definition of incriminate 

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

Other Words from incriminate

incrimination \in-ˌkri-mə-ˈnā-shən \ noun
incriminatory \in-ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌtōr-ē \ adjective

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