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

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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

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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

The police said Henning incriminated himself in two telephone calls from jail. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "More than three decades later, troubling questions and contradictions remain about two murder convictions and the role of forensic scientist Henry Lee," 23 July 2019 Once the accuser invoked the Fifth Amendment, Spacey's Attorney Alan Jackson called for the case to be dismissed immediately if the accuser was indeed attempting not to incriminate himself. CBS News, "Criminal charges against actor Kevin Spacey have been dropped in Nantucket trial," 17 July 2019 Nelson’s attorneys had argued detectives coerced him into incriminating himself by promising to help, but Circuit Judge Keith White ruled prosecutors could use the police interview as evidence. Monivette Cordeiro, orlandosentinel.com, "Prosecutors play audio tape of Scott Nelson confessing to the slaying of Altamonte Springs woman," 26 June 2019 Some of that evidence came from incriminating intercepts from the various wiretaps over which agents had for months been listening in on the kingpin and his underlings. Alan Feuer, New York Times, "‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Sentenced to Life in Prison, Ending Notorious Criminal Career," 17 July 2019 The suspect also reportedly made a cryptic and possibly incriminating statement to a witness when asked about the crime. CBS News, "Podcast spotlights Mississippi double murder – can new DNA technology solve the cold case?," 29 June 2019 Fields successfully sued the city, alleging that two Chicago police detectives falsified incriminating evidence and concealed favorable evidence. Tracy Swartz, chicagotribune.com, "Former gang member wrongly convicted of Chicago double murder featured on ‘Death Row Stories’ TV show," 5 July 2019 Nelson’s attorneys have argued detectives coerced him into incriminating himself by promising to help, but Circuit Judge Keith White ruled prosecutors could use the police interview as evidence. Monivette Cordeiro, orlandosentinel.com, "Murder trial begins today for Scott Nelson in kidnap, killing of Jennifer Fulford," 24 June 2019 Kendall's comments come about three months after both Hulu and Netflix released incriminating documentaries revealing the corrupt and unorganized preparations behind Fyre Festival, which was spearheaded by entrepreneur Billy McFarland. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner Responds to Her Fyre Festival Involvement for the First Time," 3 Apr. 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.

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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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Statistics for incriminate

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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