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.

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 The law was written in response to major U.S. accounting and corporate scandals — notably when the Enron energy company’s auditing firm destroyed potentially incriminating documents about widespread fraud within Enron. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 28 June 2024 But one constant in the battle is how people incriminate themselves via social media. Michael Loria, USA TODAY, 12 June 2024 Three informants were used to pry incriminating evidence from Smith, but only one informant was disclosed to the defense. Tony Saavedra, Orange County Register, 10 June 2024 The star throws herself into the frequent action, though fights aren’t always fully convincing — ditto explosions and other FX here, as well as Parker’s constant stumbling onto crime scenes, clues, incriminating conversations, etc. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 21 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for incriminate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'incriminate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Jul. 2024.

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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