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[gil-tee] /ˈgɪl ti/
adjective, guiltier, guiltiest.
having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; justly subject to a certain accusation or penalty; culpable:
The jury found her guilty of murder.
characterized by, connected with, or involving guilt:
guilty intent.
having or showing a sense of guilt, whether real or imagined:
a guilty conscience.
Origin of guilty
before 1000; Middle English; Old English gyltig. See guilt, -y1
Related forms
guiltily, adverb
guiltiness, noun
overguilty, adjective
quasi-guiltily, adverb
quasi-guilty, adjective
2. criminal, felonious, culpable; illicit, nefarious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for guiltily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She dropped them guiltily as K. rose with the paper in his hand.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • "It was—well, it was Loosh—or—ah—Looshy" he admitted, guiltily.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • They both started as if guiltily, and Cutler said sharply: "To hurt whom?"

    The Wisdom of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton
  • She's a brick, and I feel so guiltily aware of tricking her.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
  • He was not only innocent, but deplorably—I might even say guiltily—innocent.

    The Way of All Flesh Samuel Butler
  • Miss Madeline watched him guiltily as he walked across the lawn.

  • In the silence that followed, they looked at each other, guiltily.

    Faithfully Yours Lou Tabakow
  • It was just what we had done, and I wasted good time in remembering it, guiltily.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery Susan Carleton Jones
  • He darted to the chair where Gertie had sat and guiltily kissed its arm.

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for guiltily


adjective guiltier, guiltiest
responsible for an offence or misdeed
(law) having committed an offence or adjudged to have done so: the accused was found guilty
(law) plead guilty, (of a person charged with an offence) to admit responsibility; confess
of, showing, or characterized by guilt: a guilty smile, guilty pleasures
Derived Forms
guiltily, adverb
guiltiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for guiltily



Old English gyltig, from gylt (see guilt (n.)). Of conscience, feelings, etc., 1590s. Meaning "person who is guilty" is from 1540s. To plead not guilty is from 15c.; to plead guilty is 19c., though, as OED notes, "Guilty is technically not a plea, but a confession."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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