- the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability: He admitted his guilt.
- a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.
- conduct involving the commission of such crimes, wrongs, etc.: to live a life of guilt.
Origin of guilt
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for guilt
Guilt, when dispensed in the circumstances Morris occupied, is the anti-Viagra.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
Instead of lights and gifts, this one is filled with broken promises and guilt.Why Your New Year’s Diet Will Fail
December 30, 2014
Police then lied to Henry by telling him that if he admitted his guilt, he could go home.
Although often this is considered proof positive of guilt at trial, it is not an uncommon occurrence in false confessions.
Perhaps my outrage at the men defending Cosby springs from my own feelings of guilt.What Trait Do Bill Cosby’s Defenders Share?
November 26, 2014
If Ben was morally guilty, he was forced into his guilt by law and general custom.Biography of a Slave
It was only by an effort that he shook off the vague feeling of guilt.
He put his whole will into the assertion of guilt, to batter down the man's resistance.
But Uncle Lucien was so certain of the boy's guilt that he mistook his pride for impudence.The Boy Life of Napoleon
Whatever tends to extenuate the guilt of other sins, is an aggravation of this.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
- the fact or state of having done wrong or committed an offence
- responsibility for a criminal or moral offence deserving punishment or a penalty
- remorse or self-reproach caused by feeling that one is responsible for a wrong or offence
- archaic sin or crime
Word Origin and History for guilt
Old English gylt "crime, sin, fault, fine," of unknown origin, though some suspect a connection to Old English gieldan "to pay for, debt," but OED editors find this "inadmissible phonologically." The mistaken use for "sense of guilt" is first recorded 1680s. Guilt by association recorded by 1919.
"to influence someone by appealing to his sense of guiltiness," by 1995, from guilt (n.). Related: Guilted; guilting. Old English also had a verbal form, gyltan "to commit an offense."