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Blameworthy; culpable; having committed a tort or crime; devoid of innocence.

An individual is guilty if he or she is responsible for a delinquency or a criminal or civil offense. When an accused is willing to accept legal responsibility for a criminal act, he or she pleads guilty. Similarly, a jury returns a verdict of guilty upon finding that a defendant has committed a crime. In the event that a jury is not convinced that a defendant has committed a crime, jurors can return a verdict of not guilty, which does not mean that the individual is innocent or that the jurors are so convinced, but rather that they do not believe sufficient evidence has been presented to prove that the defendant is guilty.

In civil lawsuits, the term guilty does not imply criminal responsibility but refers to mis-conduct.


adj. having been convicted of a crime or having admitted the commission of a crime by pleading "guilty" (saying you did it). A defendant may also be found guilty by a judge after a plea of "no contest," or in Latin "nolo contendere." The term "guilty" is also sometimes applied to persons against whom a judgment has been found in a lawsuit for a civil wrong, such as negligence or some intentional act like assault or fraud, but that is a confusing misuse of the word since it should only apply to a criminal charge. (See: admission of guilt, cop a plea, plea bargain)


adjective at fault, blamable, blameworthy, chargeable, condemnable, criminal, criminous, culpable, delinquent, deserving of blame, deeerving of punishment, deserving reproof, erring, immutable, in error, in the wrong, incriminated, indictable, peccant, reprehensible, reproachable, reprovable, to blame, transgressing
Associated concepts: bail, conviction, find the defendant guilty, guilty as charged, guilty knowledge, guilty of the crime charged, guilty of wrongdoing, innocence, insanity, parole, plea of guilty, qualified plea of guilty, sentencing, verdict
See also: arrant, at fault, blameful, blameworthy, contrite, culpable, delinquent, diabolic, illicit, onerous, peccable, peccant, reprehensible, vicious


the plea by an accused that he accepts that he committed the offence charged or the finding to that effect by a court or jury. See also NOT GUILTY, NOT PROVEN.

GUILTY. The state or condition of a person who has committed a crime, misdemeanor or offence.
     2. This word implies a malicious intent, and must be applied to something universally allowed to be a crime. Cowp. 275.
     3. In pleading, it is a plea by which a defendant who is charged with a crime, misdemeanor or tort, admits or confesses it. In criminal proceedings, when the accused is arraigned, the clerk asks him,: How say you, A B, are you guilty or not guilty?" His answer, which is given ore tenus, is called his plea; and when he admits the charge in the indictment he answers or pleads guilty.

References in periodicals archive ?
Some of us parents who felt lucky just to get the family out the door on a Sunday morning and who were trying to keep the children reasonably quiet would clench our teeth when the doors were closed; we would exchange a roll of the eyes or grumble briefly and guiltily, feeling tom about thinking uncharitably about our fellow parishioners.
Not if you're a passenger standing by guiltily as your underwear is exposed to the assembled masses.
She chats away, offering a pep talk and sounding like a best girlfriend, as if the reader is trying to stuff her legs into a pair of jeans a size too small, or is guiltily sneaking a cigarette.
all five hit their target five more are returned and humanity makes mistakes (but we're only human, as was Oppenheimer) survival's staple is bread and onions nationality becomes luxury and a day awaits when further shootings will prove mistakes are human we're only human, they are only human, litany la la but mistakes are thus only when recognized seems some are more human than others an inner form of peace and terror simultaneously settles: that everywhere always we are humans playing at death guiltily or not loving our families raising children making onion sandwiches pushing buttons oops 5 shots in the dark
I stared at the towel bar guiltily I had meant to change it for a grab bar.
Consider the finest wordsmiths you know: They use pop-phrases only seldom, often guiltily, and usually kiddingly.
Bereft of her invalid mother, she tries to break free of her milieu, whilst reluctantly and guiltily attendant on her mother's 82 year-old friend Mrs.
How guiltily and secretly joyous you feel when she runs off with her Zumba instructor and he starts asking to be called Stephanie.
The bees did their job, served each flower busily, All went well and no problems could we foresee, Then I noticed the pigeons taking interest and see, When I passed by they flew off guiltily.
Two we've loved to hate (and guiltily enjoyed): the Katies.
However, in my case at least, it left me guiltily aware that now that the tourist season has wound down I should probably get out there again and revisit even the best known of the churches to refresh my memory for the details.