Definition of guilty in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡiltē/

adjective (guiltier, guiltiest)

1Culpable of or responsible for a specified wrongdoing: the police will soon discover who the guilty party is he was found guilty of manslaughter he found them guilty on a lesser charge See also find, plead.
More example sentences
  • She subsequently pleaded guilty to and he was found guilty of possession of cannabis resin with intent to supply.
  • Whether a plaintiff is guilty of contributory negligence is a question of fact.
  • Having found there was a case to answer the trial continued and we found the Appellant guilty on all 5 counts.
culpable, to blame, at fault, in the wrong, blameworthy, responsible;
erring, errant, delinquent, offending, sinful, criminal
archaic peccant
1.1Justly chargeable with a particular fault or error: she was guilty of a serious error of judgment
More example sentences
  • These three reasons show that the only fault scientists are guilty of is of neglecting their public image.
  • Nor should we be guilty of the error of assuming that the problem relates only to Genesis.
  • In the jittery start both sides were guilty of handling errors but Keighley had the best of the early play.
1.2Conscious of or affected by a feeling of guilt: John felt guilty at having deceived the family she wrestled with a guilty conscience after her adultery
More example sentences
  • There is no pain like that of a guilty conscience, and bigots hate to admit they're wrong.
  • History is littered with the guilty consciences of those who chose to remain silent.
  • Seemingly, I would alleviate my guilty conscience by showering him with presents.
ashamed, guilt-ridden, conscience-stricken, remorseful, sorry, contrite, repentant, penitent, regretful, rueful, abashed, shamefaced, sheepish, hangdog;
in sackcloth and ashes
1.3Involving a feeling or a judgment of guilt: I have no guilty secret to reveal a guilty verdict
More example sentences
  • I know she says the boyfriend she betrayed tipped off the press after she had revealed her guilty secret in her sleep.
  • Where once it was society's guilty secret, now there is a concerted effort to trawl for and publicise any hint of racism.
  • Homosexuality was his other guilty secret, which he kept hidden from public sight until he was in his seventies.


See innocent (usage) and plead.


not guilty

Innocent, especially of a formal charge: he pled not guilty to murder
More example sentences
  • He has pleaded not guilty to an additional charge of taking possession of the weapons.
  • He pleads not guilty to four charges of causing death by dangerous driving.
  • He pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared at the Old Bailey on January 14.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡiltilē/
Example sentences
  • I, too, am not exempt from guiltily indulging in an episode or more, despite my growing disgust with the whole thing.
  • He bent guiltily and began re-tying his boots, a hurricane of fingers at work.
  • Once they were relaxed about being seen in the garden - now they skulk guiltily, scuttling off at the slightest noise or movement.


Pronunciation: /ˈɡiltēnəs/
Example sentences
  • No one would have any doubts about the guiltiness of the Bulgarian.
  • But his heart raced anyway, as the light shifted over the torrential waves of vehicles, because there was a feeling of guiltiness in his heart, like he was hiding.
  • ‘But he deserved it,’ he told himself, trying to lessen his guiltiness.


Old English gyltig (see guilt, -y1).

Words that rhyme with guilty

kiltie, silty

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: guilt·y

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