mea culpa

noun mea cul·pa \ ˌmā-ə-ˈku̇l-pə , ˌmā-ä- , -ˈku̇l-(ˌ)pä \
Updated on: 7 Dec 2017

Definition of mea culpa

: a formal acknowledgment of personal fault or error
  • The mayor's public mea culpa didn't satisfy his critics.

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Examples of mea culpa in a Sentence

  1. The mayor's public mea culpa didn't satisfy his critics.

Recent Examples of mea culpa from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Mea culpa, which means "through my fault" in Latin, comes from a prayer of confession in the Catholic Church. Said by itself, it's an exclamation of apology or remorse that is used to mean "It was my fault" or "I apologize." Mea culpa is also a noun, however. A newspaper might issue a mea culpa for printing inaccurate information, or a politician might give a speech making mea culpas for past wrongdoings. Mea culpa is one of many English terms that derive from the Latin culpa, meaning "guilt." Some other examples are culpable ("meriting condemnation or blame especially as wrong or harmful") and culprit ("one guilty of a crime or a fault").

Origin and Etymology of mea culpa

Latin, through my fault


MEA CULPA Defined for English Language Learners

mea culpa

noun

Definition of mea culpa for English Language Learners

  • : a statement in which you say that something is your fault


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