[ bleym-fuhl ]
/ ˈbleɪm fəl /
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deserving blame; blameworthy: blameful neglect.
Archaic. imputing blame; accusing.
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Origin of blameful

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at blame, -ful


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does blameful mean?

Blameful is used to describe someone or something that deserves to be blamed for something negative that has happened

The word blameworthy means the same thing and is more commonly used.

To blame someone for something is to accuse them of having caused it or to hold them responsible for it. The word blame is always used in the context of something bad that happened—you don’t blame someone for something good. However, when someone is blamed for something, it doesn’t mean they are guilty of it—it simply means they are being accused of being guilty of it.

The word blame can also be used as a noun referring to the responsibility for something negative that happened. This is how the word is used in the phrase assign blame. As a noun, blame can also mean the disapproval, condemnation, or criticism for something bad that happened, as in He deserves most of the blame for the loss.

Calling a person blameful indicates the belief that they are responsible for what happened and that they should receive the criticism for having caused it.

Sometimes, people use blameful to describe someone who frequently blames others for things, but this sense of the word has largely fallen out of use.

Example: Those who participated in the fraud should be held responsible, but those who knew about it and did nothing are also blameful.

Where does blameful come from?

The first records of the word blameful come from the 1300s. Blame comes from the Late Latin blasphēmāre, meaning “to blaspheme” (“to speak in a disrespectful way about God or other things considered sacred”).

The opposite of blameful is blameless, which is used to describe someone who hasn’t done anything wrong—they haven’t done anything to be blamed for.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to blameful?

  • blamefully (adverb)
  • blamefulness (noun)
  • blame (verb, noun)

What are some synonyms for blameful?

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




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



How is blameful used in real life?

Blameful is always used in negative contexts. The word blameworthy means the same thing and is more commonly used.

Try using blameful!

Is blameful used correctly in the following sentence?

“They are equally blameful and deserve the same punishment.”

How to use blameful in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for blameful

/ (ˈbleɪmfʊl) /

deserving blame; guilty

Derived forms of blameful

blamefully, adverbblamefulness, 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