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mea culpa

[mey-uh kuhl-puh, mee-uh; Latin me-ah kool-pah] /ˈmeɪ ə ˈkʌl pə, ˈmi ə; Latin ˈmɛ ɑ ˈkʊl pɑ/
interjection
1.
my fault! (used as an acknowledgment of one's responsibility).
noun, plural mea culpas.
2.
an acknowledgment of one's responsibility for a fault or error.
Origin of mea culpa
< Latin: through my fault
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mea culpa
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a good deal for a Madigan—the nearest they ever got to mea culpa: they were not Christians.

    The Madigans Miriam Michelson
  • Go to confession, get down on my marrow-bones and say 'mea culpa'?

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • Could I do anything but pity her when she cried peccavi, mea culpa, mea culpa.

    Letters of Peregrine Pickle George P. Upton
  • And with him all knelt a long while, each repeating his mea culpa.

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
  • He closeth his eyes and saith his mea culpa and setteth all his hopes in God.

British Dictionary definitions for mea culpa

mea culpa

/ˈmeɪɑː ˈkʊlpɑː/
uknown
1.
an acknowledgment of guilt
Word Origin
literally: my fault
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 mea culpa

Latin, literally "I am to blame," a phrase from the prayer of confession in the Latin liturgy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mea culpa in Culture
mea culpa [(may-uh kul-puh, kool-puh)]

An expresssion from Catholic ritual that assigns blame to oneself: “I gave you the wrong directions to my house — mea culpa.” From Latin, meaning “my fault” or “my blame.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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