Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.

mea culpa

[mey-uh kuhl-puh, mee-uh; Latin me-ah kool-pah] /ˈmeɪ ə ˈkʌl pə, ˈmi ə; Latin ˈmɛ ɑ ˈkʊl pɑ/
my fault! (used as an acknowledgment of one's responsibility).
noun, plural mea culpas.
an acknowledgment of one's responsibility for a fault or error.
Origin of mea culpa
< Latin: through my fault Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
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/
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for mea culpa

Word Value for mea

Scrabble Words With Friends