Definition of indictment in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /inˈdītmənt/


1chiefly North American A formal charge or accusation of a serious crime: an indictment for conspiracy
More example sentences
  • The appellant was charged on a separate indictment with criminal involvement in the two drug importations in April and May 1996.
  • What obstacle would there then have been to the presentation of an indictment for the extradition offence?
  • Under the agreement, the military is not obliged to turn over personnel accused of crimes until a formal indictment has been made.
1.1The action of indicting or being indicted: the indictment of twelve people who had imported cocaine
More example sentences
  • This offence is punishable with up to ten years' imprisonment following conviction on indictment.
  • It is my submission that the matter is, at its simplest level, where a person is not convicted on indictment he is convicted summarily.
  • In many of these instances, there was no trial, or even indictment - the suspects were detained nevertheless.
2A thing that serves to illustrate that a system or situation is bad and deserves to be condemned: these rapidly escalating crime figures are an indictment of our society
More example sentences
  • I have never and would never advocate violence as a solution to any problem but it is a sad indictment of our system that in the end it was the only way out for us.
  • It's a woeful indictment of a hopeless situation.
  • A powerful indictment of the system, it errs on the side of cartoonish overstatement once or twice but overall is well worth seeing.


Middle English enditement, inditement, from Anglo-Norman French enditement, from enditer (see indict).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·dict·ment

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.