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Related to guilty: not guilty


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 ?
The former head of covert operations at the CIA faces 10 counts of perjury, false statements, and obstruction, to which he pleaded not guilty on September 12.
11/22: Kyle Carcione, 30, of Murphysboro, pleaded guilty to burglary, a Class 2 felony.
Roy Pearson, 40, of Henson Street, Cardiff, was fined PS40 after pleading guilty to using threatening, insulting words or behaviour, within the sight of another person, at Cardiff Central station.
Nicholas Ryan Tracey, 24, of Kegworth Close, Longford, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly.
A 15-year-old boy from Ladywood pleaded guilty to entering the Orange shop in New Street and stealing mobile phones.
GUILTY Claiming in his autobiography that he tried to bring about the abandonment of the 1987 Cheltenham Gold Cup to the benefit of a bet placed by Brian Wright
George Smith, 48, of Front Street, Belles, Newcastle, pleaded not guilty but was convicted and sentenced to nine years.
John Stuart Mill, the founding father of liberal legal theory, actually denounced as "sophistry" and as palpably untenable and absurd" those arguments invoked by bar- risters in early 19th-century England to rationalize the use of procedural rules to defeat the prosecution of clients they knew were guilty of the crimes with which they were charged.
Shantel Steffens, 39, of Vegennes, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony.
Pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman by beating her on June 30.
Zahra Reyhani, 28, of Lower Cathedral Road, Riverside, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to assault.