Definition of blame in English:


Line breaks: blame
Pronunciation: /bleɪm


[with object]
  • 1Feel or declare that (someone or something) is responsible for a fault or wrong: the inquiry blamed the train driver 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, hold liable, place/lay the blame on; censure, criticize, condemn, accuse of, find/consider guilty of; assign fault/liability/guilt to
    archaic inculpate
    ascribe to, attribute to, impute to, lay at the door of, put down to, set down to
    informal pin, stick
  • 1.1 (blame something on) Assign the responsibility for a bad or unfortunate situation or phenomenon 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.


[mass noun] Back to top  
  • Responsibility for a fault or wrong: his players had to take the blame for the defeat 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, onus, blameworthiness, culpability, fault; censure, criticism, condemnation, recrimination
    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 a bad or unwelcome state of affairs: he really had only himself to blame
More 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.



(US also blamable) adjective
More 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.


More 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).

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