[ bleym ]
See synonyms for: blameblamedblamingblamer on

verb (used with object),blamed, blam·ing.
  1. to hold responsible; find fault with; censure: I don't blame you for leaving him.

  2. to place the responsibility for (a fault, error, etc.) (usually followed by on): I blame the accident on her.

  1. Informal. blast; damn (used as a mild curse): Blame the rotten luck.

  1. an act of attributing fault; censure; reproof: The judge said he found nothing to justify blame in the accident.

  2. responsibility for anything deserving of censure: We must all share the blame for this deplorable condition.

Idioms about blame

  1. to blame, at fault; censurable: I am to blame for his lateness.

Origin of blame

First recorded in 1150–1200; (for the verb) Middle English blamen, from Anglo-French, Old French blasmer, from Vulgar Latin blastēmāre (unrecorded), from Late Latin blasphēmāre “to speak irreverently, profanely” (see blaspheme ); noun derivative of the verb

synonym study For blame

1, 2. Blame, censure, condemn imply finding fault with someone or something. To blame is to hold accountable for, and disapprove because of, some error, mistake, omission, neglect, or the like: Whom do you blame for the disaster? The verb censure differs from the noun in connoting scolding or rebuking even more than adverse criticism: to censure one for extravagance. To condemn is to express an adverse (especially legal) judgment, without recourse: to condemn conduct, a building, a person to death.

usage note For blame

Some speakers avoid blame on as informal ( He blamed the fight on me ), preferring blame alone ( He blamed me ) or blame for ( He blamed me for it ). Since all three forms occur with equal frequency in educated usage, they may all be considered equally acceptable.

Other words for blame

Other words from blame

  • blamer, noun
  • o·ver·blame, verb (used with object), o·ver·blamed, o·ver·blam·ing.
  • self-blame, noun
  • un·blam·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with blame Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use blame in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for blame


/ (bleɪm) /

  1. responsibility for something that is wrong or deserving censure; culpability

  2. an expression of condemnation; reproof

  1. be to blame to be at fault or culpable

  1. (usually foll by for) to attribute responsibility to; accuse: I blame him for the failure

  2. (usually foll by on) to ascribe responsibility for (something) to: I blame the failure on him

  1. to find fault with

Origin of blame

C12: from Old French blasmer, ultimately from Late Latin blasphēmāre to blaspheme

Derived forms of blame

  • blamable or blameable, adjective
  • blamably or blameably, adverb

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with blame


see lay (the blame) on; to blame.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.