verb (used with object), blamed, blam·ing.

to hold responsible; find fault with; censure: I don't blame you for leaving him.
to place the responsibility for (a fault, error, etc.) (usually followed by on): I blame the accident on her.
Informal. blast; damn (used as a mild curse): Blame the rotten luck.


an act of attributing fault; censure; reproof: The judge said he found nothing to justify blame in the accident.
responsibility for anything deserving of censure: We must all share the blame for this deplorable condition.


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

Origin of blame

1150–1200; (v.) Middle English blamen < Anglo-French, Old French blasmer < Vulgar Latin *blastēmāre, for Late Latin blasphēmāre to blaspheme; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French bla(s)me, derivative of the v.
Related formsblam·er, nouno·ver·blame, verb (used with object), o·ver·blamed, o·ver·blam·ing.self-blame, nounun·blam·ing, adjective
Can be confusedblame censure condemn (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for blame

Synonym study

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

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blaming

Contemporary Examples of blaming

Historical Examples of blaming

  • "It's not the least mite I'm blaming you, honey," said Katy.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Without in the least blaming her, I will say that I think that Mrs. Alderling ate too much.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • But nevertheless I am very far from blaming you for your resentment.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • You may possibly be blaming Arthur Channing for meeting this trouble in so sad a spirit.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • This looks very like blaming Burns's correspondents for the badness of his style.

British Dictionary definitions for blaming



responsibility for something that is wrong or deserving censure; culpability
an expression of condemnation; reproof
be to blame to be at fault or culpable

verb (tr)

(usually foll by for) to attribute responsibility to; accuseI blame him for the failure
(usually foll by on) to ascribe responsibility for (something) toI blame the failure on him
to find fault with
Derived Formsblamable or blameable, adjectiveblamably or blameably, adverb

Word Origin for blame

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

Word Origin and History for blaming



c.1200, "find fault with;" c.1300, "lay blame on," from Old French blasmer (12c., Modern French blâmer) "to rebuke, reprimand, condemn, criticize," from Vulgar Latin *blastemare, from Late Latin blasphemare "revile, reproach" (see blaspheme). Replaced Old English witan with long "i." Related: Blamed; blaming.



early 13c., from Old French blasme "blame, reproach; condemnation," a back-formation from blasmer (see blame (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with blaming


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.