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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 ?
6) Given this belief in the merciful nature of God and the power of human beings to counteract evil in the world, Unitarians rejected the concept of everlasting punishment in favor of a future afterlife where there is discipline for the soul, where even the guiltiest may be redeemed and the stained spirit may be cleansed by fire.
Change into something comfortable, let your hair down, and indulge in some of the Web's guiltiest pleasures.
In fact, whichever parent feels the guiltiest about the divorce is often the one who does the worst job when it comes to setting limits, saying "no" to, or disciplining the children (Ahrons.
This conviction sometimes emerges in slightly puzzling forms, such as the statement, "When Thomas Jefferson invented rock and roll it became the sound of damnation as it existed in the heart of the greatest and guiltiest American who ever lived" (32).
But what of the single father, his responsibilities for parenting grown ten times graver at the very moment he feels guiltiest, most undermined by misery?
Moreover, as Calhoun's own data on citation patterns as well as the analyses by Crane and Small show, sociology is among the least inward-looking of the social and behavioural sciences while psychology and economics are by far the guiltiest of "intradisciplinary monism" (p.
288) Virtually all these studies suggest that Miranda is of special benefit to the guiltiest of the guilty: career criminals.
The guiltiest person in this affair', commented Chenon fils in a bitter letter to Lieutenant-General Louis Thiroux de Crosne, `is the commander of the Watch, whose name is also Dubois'.
Middle-aged Frank writes his grief: He is compelled to reckon with how adolescent Frank experienced his mother's death as he hits "that guiltiest, most vulnerable age, older-than-you.
DWD Generation: Gen Y-ers are the guiltiest of driving while distracted, with 35 percent admitting to always multitasking in the car.
Wood (below) was the guiltiest player on the pitch for failing to break the deadlock after hitting the bar from close range and then heading over from just a yard.
After 14 years, I am still trying to quit" - Actress Sofie Grabol on her guiltiest pleasure.