Definition of guilty in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡɪlti/

adjective (guiltier, guiltiest)

1Culpable of or responsible for a specified wrongdoing: he was found guilty of manslaughter Williams pleaded guilty to three separate offences
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, blameworthy, blameable, at fault, in the wrong, responsible, answerable, accountable, liable;
censurable, reproachable, condemnable, reprehensible, erring, errant, delinquent, offending, sinful, felonious, iniquitous, criminal, convicted
archaic peccant
1.1Justly chargeable with a particular fault or error: she was guilty of a serious error of judgement
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, affected by, or revealing a feeling of guilt: he felt guilty about the way he had treated her a guilty conscience
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, regretful, contrite, repentant, penitent, rueful, abashed, shamefaced, sheepish, hangdog;
mortified, discomfited, distressed, uncomfortable;
in sackcloth and ashes
informal with one's tail between one's legs
rare compunctious
1.3Causing a feeling of guilt: a guilty secret
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.


not guilty

Pronunciation: /ˌnɒt ˈɡɪlti/
Innocent, especially of a formal charge.
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: /ˈɡɪltɪli/
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: /ˈɡɪltɪnəs/
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

Line breaks: guilty

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