[ kuhl-puh-bil-i-tee ]
/ ˌkʌl pəˈbɪl ɪ ti /
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guilt or blame that is deserved; blameworthiness.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?
Sometimes cul·pa·ble·ness .

Origin of culpability

OTHER WORDS FROM culpability

non·cul·pa·bil·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does culpability mean?

Culpability is the quality of being culpable—deserving blame for a crime or wrongdoing.

When someone is described as culpable for something, it means it’s their fault or that they are guilty of it. Culpability is the guilt or blame that a person deserves.

The words culpable and culpability are typically used in serious legal contexts involving crimes.

Example: It’s the job of a jury to assign or reject culpability for a crime.

Where does culpability come from?

Culpability is based on culpable, which is first recorded around 1300. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb culpāre, meaning “to hold liable,” from the Latin culpa, meaning “blame.” Culpa also appears in the Latin phrase mea culpa, meaning “my fault.”

You have culpability for something that has gone wrong when you’re somehow responsible for it. Even if you weren’t the one who directly caused harm, you could still be considered legally culpable if you had some role in it. For example, if it was your responsibility to ensure the safety of others by inspecting equipment and you neglected to do so, you could be held culpable if people were hurt as a result of your negligence.

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What are some other forms related to culpability?

What are some synonyms for culpability?

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

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

How is culpability used in real life?

Culpability is usually used in a very serious way. It’s especially used in a legal context.



Try using culpability!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of culpability?

A. liability
B. responsibility
C. illegality
D. blameworthiness

How to use culpability in a sentence