in·​cul·​pate | \ in-ˈkəl-ˌpāt How to pronounce inculpate (audio) , ˈin-(ˌ)kəl- \
inculpated; inculpating

Definition of inculpate

transitive verb

: to impute guilt to : incriminate

Other Words from inculpate

inculpation \ ˌin-​(ˌ)kəl-​ˈpā-​shən How to pronounce inculpate (audio) \ noun

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Inculpate is the opposite of exculpate, just as inculpatory evidence is the opposite of exculpatory evidence. By inculpating someone else, an accused person may manage to exculpate himself. Through plea bargaining, the prosecution can often encourage a defendant to inculpate his friends in return for a lighter sentence.

Examples of inculpate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Over the years, Pearcy has given numerous different accounts of the crime — at times blaming Dailey and other times inculpating himself. Pamela Colloff, ProPublica, 13 Feb. 2012

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

First Known Use of inculpate

1799, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inculpate

Late Latin inculpatus, from Latin in- + culpatus, past participle of culpare to blame, from culpa guilt

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The first known use of inculpate was in 1799

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“Inculpate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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