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Related to culpable: culpable negligence


Blameworthy; involving the commission of a fault or the breach of a duty imposed by law.

Culpability generally implies that an act performed is wrong but does not involve any evil intent by the wrongdoer. The connotation of the term is fault rather than malice or a guilty purpose. It has limited significance in Criminal Law except in cases of reckless Homicide in which a person acts negligently or demonstrates a reckless disregard for life, which results in another person's death. In general, however, culpability has milder connotations. It is used to mean reprehensible rather than wantonly or grossly negligent behavior. Culpable conduct may be wrong but it is not necessarily criminal.

Culpable ignorance is the lack of knowledge or understanding that results from the omission of ordinary care to acquire such knowledge or understanding.


adj. sufficiently responsible for criminal acts or negligence to be at fault and liable for the conduct. Sometimes culpability rests on whether the person realized the wrongful nature of his/her actions and thus should take the blame.


adjective accusable, at fault, blamable, blameworthy, censurable, chargeable, condemnable, criminal, criminous, culpandus, delinquent, deservvng blame, deserving censure, discreditable, dishonest, dissolute, encroaching, felonious, guilty, having violated the law, improper, in error, in the wrong, indictable, indiscreet, lawbreaking, lawless, meriting censure, meriting condemnation, misdemeanant, peccant, punishable, transgressing, unrighteous, worthy of blame, wrong
See also: at fault, blameful, blameworthy, contemptible, delinquent, disobedient, felonious, guilty, iniquitous, peccable, reprehensible, reprobate, sinister, unjustifiable
References in classic literature ?
And you, Porthos," continued the count, as if in consideration for D'Artagnan's embarrassment, "you, the best heart, the best friend, the best soldier that I know -- you, with a soul that makes you worthy of a birth on the steps of a throne, and who, sooner or later, must receive your reward from an intelligent king -- you, my dear Porthos, you, a gentleman in manners, in tastes and in courage, you are as culpable as D'Artagnan.
You have done nothing which you could have avoided - nothing, certainly, which renders you culpable.
He felt that he ought not to have allowed the marriage; that his daughter's sentiments had been sufficiently known to him to render him culpable in authorising it; that in so doing he had sacrificed the right to the expedient, and been governed by motives of selfishness and worldly wisdom.
Now, on the part of the citizens of Blois this was a culpable piece of disrespect, for Monsieur was, after the king -- nay, even, perhaps before the king -- the greatest noble of the kingdom.
It is to be feared that his perception of the difference between good architecture and bad was not acute, and that he might sometimes have been seen gazing with culpable serenity at inferior productions.
But for the third degree, which is simulation, and false profession; that I hold more culpable, and less politic; except it be in great and rare matters.
This distinction, though by no means a subtle one, was yet too subtle for Mr Clare the elder, and he went on with the story he had been about to relate; which was that after the death of the senior so-called d'Urberville the young man developed the most culpable passions, though he had a blind mother, whose condition should have made him know better.
At least, the unhappy wretch upon whom your anger falls receives from you, however culpable he may be, his daily bread though moistened by his tears.
Even more culpable in my opinion, your Grace, is your attitude towards your younger son.
Sing Lee who stood just without the trap door through which he was about to pass Professor Maxon's evening meal to him could not be blamed for overhearing the conversation, though it may have been culpable in him in making no effort to divulge his presence, and possibly equally unpraiseworthy, as well as lacking in romance, to attribute the doctor's avowal to his knowledge of the heavy chest.
This, however, is the readiest and, since fortune has put it into our hands, I should be culpable if I neglected it.
Charles thought the habit laudable, though he did not intend to adopt it himself, whereas Margaret would have seen in it an almost culpable indifference to earthly fame.