incriminate

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

Definition of incriminate

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from incriminate

incrimination \ in-​ˌkri-​mə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce incrimination (audio) \ noun
incriminatory \ in-​ˈkrim-​nə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce incriminatory (audio) , -​ˈkri-​mə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for incriminate

Synonyms

accuse, charge, criminate, defame [archaic], impeach, indict

Antonyms

absolve, acquit, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 prosecution said Gallagher's own text messages and photos incriminated him. Julie Watson, chicagotribune.com, "Military jury in San Diego finds Navy SEAL not guilty of committing murder in Iraq," 2 July 2019 Shorey’s depiction of the vampy ballerina is a scream, especially her flamboyantly self-incriminating musical number. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Murder for Two’ gets good and silly in Walnut Creek," 11 Sep. 2019 As former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress on Wednesday, Democrats looked for new details to incriminate President Donald Trump and Republicans looked for ways to discredit Mueller's investigation. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "How 2020 Presidential Candidates Are Responding to Robert Mueller’s Testimony," 24 July 2019 Bribes were offered to prisoners to incriminate their fellow inmate. The Economist, "Learn the law, hope for freedom," 4 July 2019 An airstrike destroyed the Israeli van, apparently to get rid of incriminating evidence. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Palestinians offer new details of Israel’s botched Gaza raid," 12 Dec. 2018 Some neither incriminated him nor fully corroborated him. David French, National Review, "On Ferguson, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris Told a Terrible Lie," 12 Aug. 2019 Epstein did what any lawyer would tell him to do: to avoid incriminating himself. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "‘Epstein Is Gone, but Justice Must Still Be Served’," 10 Aug. 2019 In total, 52 players, two managers and six club functionaries were incriminated and later punished with varying degrees of severity. SI.com, "50 of the Biggest Controversies in Football History," 21 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about incriminate

Statistics for incriminate

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incriminate

The first known use of incriminate was circa 1736

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce incriminate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce incriminate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce incrimination (audio) \ noun
incriminatory \ in-​ˈkri-​mə-​nə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce incriminatory (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on incriminate

What made you want to look up incriminate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!