Definition of incriminate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /inˈkriməˌnāt/


[with object]
Make (someone) appear guilty of a crime or wrongdoing; strongly imply the guilt of (someone): he refused to answer questions in order not to incriminate himself (as adjective incriminating) incriminating evidence
More example sentences
  • Benicia invited Martin to lunch to discuss evidence that could incriminate him in the embezzlement.
  • However, Germany has insisted it cannot bend its laws forbidding supplying evidence that could incriminate someone facing execution.
  • There was no need of any evidence that might incriminate him for treason.
implicate, involve, enmesh;
blame, accuse, denounce, inform against, point the finger at;
informal frame, set up, stick/pin the blame on, rat on
archaic inculpate



Pronunciation: /inˌkriməˈnāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • He appeared on subpoena and declined to answer a number of questions directed to the documents on the ground of potential self incrimination.
  • However he used a special defence of incrimination to blame his two co-accused.
  • The Law Commission proposed that the privilege should be restricted to incrimination for crimes punishable by imprisonment.


Pronunciation: /inˈkrimənəˌtôrē/
Example sentences
  • Either counsel had agreed or the judge had ruled (correctly in our view) that these were incriminatory admissions which had not been made under caution and should not, therefore, go before the jury.
  • The defendant in domestic proceedings had argued that national law was incompatible with Community law because it was obliged to produce incriminatory evidence.
  • The open mind and willingness to change, when a different direction is identified, might be a better, and less incriminatory way forward for a county which cannot afford to lose any supportive voice or money.


Mid 18th century (earlier (mid 17th century) as incrimination): from late Latin incriminat- 'accused', from the verb incriminare, from in- 'into, toward' + Latin crimen 'crime'.

Words that rhyme with incriminate

discriminate, eliminate, recriminate

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·crim·i·nate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.