blame

1 of 2

verb

blamed; blaming

transitive verb

1
: to find fault with : censure
the right to praise or blame a literary work
2
a
: to hold responsible
they blame me for everything
b
: to place responsibility for
blames it on me
blamer noun
Is it blame on or blame for?: Usage Guide

Use of blame in sense 2b with on has occasionally been disparaged as wrong. Such disparagement is without basis; blame on occurs as frequently in carefully edited prose as blame for. Both are standard.

blame

2 of 2

noun

1
: an expression of disapproval or reproach : censure
… saying nothing … either in the way of blame or praise.R. L. Stevenson
2
a
: a state of being blameworthy : culpability
… acknowledge the world as a world of common blame,Muriel Rukeyser
b
archaic : fault, sin
3
: responsibility for something believed to deserve censure
they must share the blame
blameless adjective
blamelessly adverb
blamelessness noun
Phrases
to blame
: at fault : responsible
says he's not to blame for the accident

Example Sentences

Verb Don't blame me. You are responsible for your own problems. My father always blames everything on me. I blame the poor harvest on the weather. Noun It's not entirely his fault, but he's not completely free of blame, either. willingly accepted the blame for not seeing that the kitchen was properly cleaned
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The tweet marked the beginning of a daylong anti-Islamic social media attack that blamed all Muslims for ISIS terrorism. Chelsea Bailey, NBC News, 2 Nov. 2017 Many have blamed Charlotte’s ongoing development boom for the loss of several of the city’s cultural hotspots. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, 31 Oct. 2017 But don't blame Alabama for being gun-shy about using Fitzpatrick in that capacity after what happened to Eddie Jackson last season. Rainer Sabin, AL.com, 22 Oct. 2017 Despite Matt’s attorneys’ legal analysis of the allegations, Matt has insisted that nothing be said that blames or casts aspersions upon his accusers. Andy Cush, Billboard, 20 Oct. 2017 Trump blamed Corker for the Iran deal (though the senator did not support its original passage), and mocked his slight stature. Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Oct. 2017 In areas around the North Sea and Mediterranean coast, however, later winter storms, indicated by cooler colors, are to blame for flooding. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, 10 Nov. 2017 American intelligence chiefs blamed those hacking attacks on Russian military intelligence. The Economist, 4 Nov. 2017 But CW Hemp blamed its customer testimonials for going too far. Maggie Fox, NBC News, 1 Nov. 2017
Noun
The final share of blame might even belong to the system itself. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 5 Jan. 2023 The instinct to spare Mr. Putin of blame was evident in a post by an influential Russian military blogger, Anastasia Kashevarova, a native of the Samara region, on Monday night. Anatoly Kurmanaev, New York Times, 3 Jan. 2023 So far, no one’s walked away, fully absolved of blame for their role in Jan. 6. Dallas News, 3 Jan. 2023 The Culbertson saga offers plenty of blame to go around. cleveland, 26 Dec. 2022 The defense deserves its share of blame for the loss, of course. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 28 Nov. 2022 The offensive line deserves plenty of blame, as Jones took six sacks and the run game averaged just 3.8 yards per carry. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Nov. 2022 Other Republican strategists cast a wider net of blame, saying Republican leaders in both chambers should have better articulated a specific agenda beyond opposing White House policies and broad platitudes. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 9 Nov. 2022 Interestingly, the one person who carries the least amount of blame for the trade is Westbrook himself. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French blamer, blasmer, from Late Latin blasphemare to blaspheme, from Greek blasphēmein

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of blame was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near blame

Cite this Entry

“Blame.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blame. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

blame

1 of 2 verb
blamed; blaming
1
: to find fault with : censure
2
a
: to hold responsible
blame them for everything
b
: to place responsibility for
blames it on me
blamable
ˈblā-mə-bəl
adjective
blamably
-blē
adverb
blamer noun

blame

2 of 2 noun
1
: expression of disapproval
receive both blame and praise
2
: responsibility for something that fails : fault
take the blame for the defeat

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