Definition of blame in English:

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Pronunciation: /blām/


[with object]
1Assign responsibility for a fault or wrong: the inquiry blamed the engineer for the accident
More example sentences
  • In his court declaration, he blames his election agent for the oversight.
  • My only new reservation stems from her blaming her band for playing the wrong song.
  • This study and the other one in the magazine blaming fast food and its advertising is wrong.
hold responsible, hold accountable, condemn, accuse, find/consider guilty, assign fault/liability/guilt to, indict, point the finger at, finger, incriminate
archaic inculpate
ascribe to, attribute to, impute to, lay at the door of, put down to
informal pin
1.1 (blame something on) Assign the responsibility for something bad to (someone or something): they blame youth crime on unemployment
More example sentences
  • I still did not like the tone of the meeting, during which I felt like the principal was somehow blaming the situation on me.
  • He has blamed their financial situation on a national downturn in tourism and the impact of the floods.
  • People have blamed this phenomena on many things.


Responsibility for a fault or wrong: his players had to take the blame they are trying to put the blame on us
More example sentences
  • She had made false accusations against him, made him go on the run and set him up to take the blame for her frauds.
  • Put another way, the audience itself will have to take the blame for promoting such songs.
  • She was also setting him up to take the blame for a fraud at the firm where she worked.
responsibility, guilt, accountability, liability, culpability, fault
informal rap



be to blame

Be responsible for a fault or wrong: he was to blame for their deaths
More example sentences
  • It was never clear exactly what he felt was wrong, who was to blame, or what should be done about it.
  • His father thought rats chewing through electrical wires may have caused a fault which was to blame for the fire.
  • Inquiries can pinpoint what went wrong, and who was to blame.

I don't (or can't) blame you (or her, etc.)

Used to indicate that one agrees that the action or attitude taken was reasonable: he was becoming impatient, and I couldn’t blame him
More example sentences
  • I guess I can't blame him for being impatient, if indeed he is and not simply excited.
  • I don't blame your parents for wanting to protect you, and I don't blame you for being loyal to your friend.
  • If you are confused by all this, I don't blame you.

have only oneself to blame

Be solely responsible for something bad that has happened.
Example sentences
  • The government has only itself to blame for this state of affairs.
  • If you loose, you have only yourself to blame.
  • You have only yourself to blame for this travesty.



Pronunciation: /ˈblāməb(ə)l/
(also blameable) adjective
Example sentences
  • If the term cause must be used, it can best be distinguished in this meaning as the imputable or responsible or blamable cause.
  • But how does one pinpoint the blameable subject in a bureaucracy?
  • He had been blamable, highly blamable, in remaining with her after he first felt her influence over him to be more than it ought to be.


Pronunciation: /ˈblāmf(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Addicts tend to become resentful and blameful towards others, and that would be no different for somebody who is using this medication.
  • Instead, they become more bitter, more reactive, more blameful.
  • She twirled around to find her aunt was giving her a blameful look.


Middle English: from Old French blamer, blasmer (verb), from a popular Latin variant of ecclesiastical Latin blasphemare 'reproach, revile, blaspheme', from Greek blasphēmein (see blaspheme).

  • Blame is from the Old French blamer, blasmer, from a popular Latin variant of ecclesiastical Latin blasphemare ‘reproach, revile, blaspheme’, from Greek blasphēmein, source also of Middle English blaspheme.

Words that rhyme with blame

acclaim, aflame, aim, became, came, claim, dame, exclaim, fame, flame, frame, game, lame, maim, misname, name, proclaim, same, shame, tame

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: blame

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