in·​dict | \in-ˈdīt \
indicted; indicting; indicts

Definition of indict 

transitive verb

1 : to charge with a fault or offense : criticize, accuse

2 : to charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a jury (such as a grand jury) in due form of law

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from indict

indicter or indictor \ in-​ˈdī-​tər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for indict


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


absolve, acquit, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of indict in a Sentence

A grand jury is expected to indict him for murder. the grand jury could indict the mayor for fraud and embezzlement

Recent Examples on the Web

Buie received a prison term of nine to 12 years under the terms of a plea deal; she was previously indicted on a second-degree-murder charge in the case. Travis Andersen,, "Woman pleads guilty in beating death of 3-year-old stepson in Roxbury," 13 July 2018 That case culminated in a hung jury in fall 2017, after he was indicted on corruption charges. Lev Facher, STAT, "Read the fine print: N.J. senator sets up phony health news website to attack challenger Bob Hugin," 13 July 2018 She subsequently was indicted, and prosecutors say Carpenter siphoned off millions of dollars from investors between 1997 and 2014, using the money for her extravagant lifestyle and lying to the FBI about it when confronted. Sam Stanton, sacbee, "Will Dixon movie studio fraud suspect Carissa Carpenter accept “dirty plea deal?”," 11 July 2018 Unlike some of his five co-defendants, he was never indicted for murder in Wilder’s death. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "DeKalb gangster gets 8 years prison in deadly home invasion," 30 June 2018 See has been in jail since November, when he was indicted on similar charges. Sarah Brookbank,, "Prosecutors: Couple sexually abused multiple victims for more than 10 years," 28 June 2018 He was indicted in 2015 on a charge of felon in possession of a gun and pleaded guilty. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Milwaukee police chase covered 78 miles and lasted 90 minutes. Here's what happened," 27 June 2018 For decades, politically appointed lawyers in the executive branch have argued that the stigma and distraction of being indicted would interfere with the president’s ability to carry out his constitutional powers. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Congressional Candidates, Not Mueller, Could Decide Trump’s Future," 17 May 2018 He was indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury March 21 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Adam Ferrise,, "Man charged in carjacking, choking Cleveland woman leaving Sunday church service," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indict.' 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 indict

circa 1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for indict

alteration of earlier indite, from Middle English inditen, from Anglo-French enditer to write, point out, indict — more at indite

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for indict



English Language Learners Definition of indict

law : to formally decide that someone should be put on trial for a crime


in·​dict | \in-ˈdīt \
indicted; indicting

Kids Definition of indict

: to formally charge with an offense or crime

Other Words from indict

indictment \ -​ˈdīt-​mənt \ noun
in·​dict | \in-ˈdīt \

Legal Definition of indict 

: to charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a grand jury in due form of law — compare accuse, arraign, charge

History and Etymology for indict

alteration of earlier indite, from Anglo-French enditer, from Old French, to write down, ultimately from Latin indicere to proclaim, from in- toward + dicere to say

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on indict

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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