culpable

adjective

cul·​pa·​ble ˈkəl-pə-bəl How to pronounce culpable (audio)
1
: meriting condemnation or blame especially as wrong or harmful
culpable negligence
The defendant is culpable for her actions.
2
archaic : guilty, criminal
culpableness noun
culpably adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for culpable

blameworthy, blamable, guilty, culpable mean deserving reproach or punishment.

blameworthy and blamable apply to any degree of reprehensibility.

conduct adjudged blameworthy
an accident for which no one is blamable

guilty implies responsibility for or consciousness of crime, sin, or, at the least, grave error or misdoing.

guilty of a breach of etiquette

culpable is weaker than guilty and is likely to connote malfeasance or errors of ignorance, omission, or negligence.

culpable neglect

Example Sentences

They held her culpable for the accident. He's more culpable than the others because he's old enough to know better.
Recent Examples on the Web Demonte Hewitt, who the judge said was less culpable in the attack than his cousin and has done more to improve himself in jail, was sentenced to a total of 46 months for the assault and for charges in the unrelated case. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2022 Now a federal jury in the District will decide whether two officers involved in the Oct. 23, 2020, pursuit should be held criminally culpable for their actions during and after a chase that authorities say was illegally reckless. Paul Duggan, Washington Post, 25 Oct. 2022 Osler said a minor participant would be more culpable. Amy Forliti, USA TODAY, 27 July 2022 Andrews, 49, has been charged with one count of culpable negligence inflicting actual personal injury, the Broward State Attorney’s Office announced Friday. Angie Dimichele, Sun Sentinel, 16 Sep. 2022 Last month a person with monkeypox in Texas died, but whether or not the virus was culpable remains unconfirmed, CNN reports. Theara Coleman, The Week, 13 Sep. 2022 Murray and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, are culpable, too. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 29 July 2022 Though there are tangible steps owners should take to mitigate harm, Kang said manufacturers who develop these products should also be culpable. Kimmy Yam, NBC News, 17 July 2022 If Americans did continue to ignore it and not hold politicians to account, an angry Kimmel said the public is culpable. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 May 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English coupable, from Anglo-French cupable, culpable, from Latin culpabilis, from culpare to blame, from culpa guilt

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of culpable was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near culpable

Cite this Entry

“Culpable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culpable. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

culpable

adjective

cul·​pa·​ble ˈkəl-pə-bəl How to pronounce culpable (audio)
: deserving blame
culpability noun
culpableness noun
culpably adverb

Legal Definition

culpable

adjective

cul·​pa·​ble ˈkəl-pə-bəl How to pronounce culpable (audio)
: deserving condemnation or blame as wrong or harmful
culpability noun
culpableness noun
culpably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on culpable

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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