[ bleym-wur-thee ]
/ ˈbleɪmˌwɜr ði /
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See synonyms for: blameworthy / blameworthiness on Thesaurus.com

deserving blame; blameful: a blameworthy administration.
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Origin of blameworthy

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

OTHER WORDS FROM blameworthy

blame·wor·thi·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does blameworthy mean?

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

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 blameworthy indicates the belief that they are responsible for what happened and that they should receive the criticism for having caused it.

The word blameful means the same thing as blameworthy but is less commonly used.

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

Where does blameworthy come from?

The first records of the word blameworthy 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 term worthy is used in other compound words, such as trustworthy (“worthy of trust”) and newsworthy (“worthy of being in the news”).

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

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What are some other forms related to blameworthy?

  • blameworthiness (noun)
  • blame (verb, noun)

What are some synonyms for blameworthy?

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How is blameworthy used in real life?

Blameworthy is always used in negative contexts. It’s most often used in serious situations, such as those involving a crime or other serious wrongdoing.

Try using blameworthy!

Is blameworthy used correctly in the following sentence?

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

How to use blameworthy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for blameworthy

/ (ˈbleɪmˌwɜːðɪ) /

deserving disapproval or censure

Derived forms of blameworthy

blameworthiness, 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