View synonyms for accused


[ uh-kyoozd ]


  1. charged with a crime, wrongdoing, fault, etc.:

    the accused boy.


  1. Often the accused. a person or persons charged in a court of law with a crime, offense, etc.


/ əˈkjuːzd /


  1. the accused
    law the defendant or defendants appearing on a criminal charge

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Other Words From

  • mis·ac·cused adjective
  • self-ac·cused adjective
  • un·ac·cused adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of accused1

First recorded in 1585–95; accuse + -ed 2

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Example Sentences

Watching him now being accused of illegal operations will not see them shedding any tears.

The men were accused of reneging on pledges to stop working for the Iraqi government.

Who else would see a former spouse accused of underage sex and call him ‘the greatest man there is’?

Critics accused Foster of giving Duke a payoff to stay out of the race; that was never proven.

Three years ago, Republican Guard soldiers came into the hills and killed a cleric accused of hosting Jundullah fighters.

The blood that accused his friend in his heart, rushed to his face, when he repeated what had been told him.

The consequence of this quarrel was that, early in 1794, he found himself accused as a ci-devant noble.

The room was prettily furnished, and Georgie had often accused herself of extravagance.

The consequence was, the disappointed emissary of these double treasons, immediately accused him of his own crimes.

I have been accused of showing irreverence towards these barbarous kings and priests.


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More About Accused

What does accused mean?

Accused is an adjective that means charged with a crime or other offense. Accused is also used as a noun to refer to a person or people who have been charged with a crime, often as the accused.

To accuse someone of something means to say that they are guilty of it. This can happen in everyday situations, such as children accusing each other of not sharing. But accused is most used in the context of the criminal justice system to indicate that a person has been officially charged with a crime.

Example: The accused was escorted in the courtroom by police.

Where did accused come from?

The verb accuse has been in use since at least the 1300s. It comes from the Latin accūsāre, meaning “to call to account.” As an adjective and noun, accused is recorded later, around the 1500s.

Because accused is closely linked to crimes and rule violations, it has been used in legal documents, law texts, and accounts of criminal trials or court cases for centuries. It is important to remember that accused, like similar words such as charged and indicted, doesn’t indicate that the person is guilty of the crime they are suspected of committing. An accused person has simply been charged with the crime. In modern times, their guilt usually needs to be proven. Of course, accused persons in previous eras (such as accused witches) had much less hope of a fair trial, and the very accusation of guilt sometimes sealed their fate. Still today, accusing someone of a crime is a serious thing to do. Even if they are not found guilty, having been accused may permanently hurt their reputation.

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What are some other forms related to accused?

  • the accused (noun)
  • accuse (verb)
  • misaccused (adjective)
  • self-accused (adjective)
  • unaccused (adjective)

What are some synonyms for accused?

What are some words that share a root or word element with accused

What are some words that often get used in discussing accused?

How is accused used in real life?

Many court systems operate under the idea that a person is “innocent until proven guilty.” Because of this, many courts, police organizations, and news outlets (who want to avoid libel) will often refer to a defendant in a criminal trial as accused until a verdict has been reached.



Try using accused!

True or False?

An accused person has been found guilty of a crime and is awaiting punishment.