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See more synonyms for incriminate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), in·crim·i·nat·ed, in·crim·i·nat·ing.
  1. to accuse of or present proof of a crime or fault: He incriminated both men to the grand jury.
  2. to involve in an accusation; cause to be or appear to be guilty; implicate: His testimony incriminated his friend. He feared incriminating himself if he answered.
  3. to charge with responsibility for all or part of an undesirable situation, harmful effect, etc.: to incriminate cigarettes as a cause of lung cancer.
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Origin of incriminate

1720–30; < Late Latin incrīminātus past participle of incrīmināre to accuse. See in-2, criminate
Related formsin·crim·i·na·tion, nounin·crim·i·na·tor, nounin·crim·i·na·to·ry [in-krim-uh-nuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈkrɪm ə nəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivenon·in·crim·i·nat·ing, adjectivenon·in·crim·i·na·tion, nounnon·in·crim·i·na·to·ry, adjectiveun·in·crim·i·nat·ed, adjectiveun·in·crim·i·nat·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

indict, prosecute, implicate, involve, name, attribute, frame, brand, attack, inculpate, blame, charge, finger, allege, cite

Examples from the Web for incriminate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • How, then, is it lawful to incriminate the Principate of the whole Church?

    The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI

    Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies

  • A prisoner is no longer a man, but a human agent to incriminate others.

  • Even if it were, there was nothing in it to incriminate her.

    The Grell Mystery

    Frank Froest

  • We've searched these grounds, and found nothing to incriminate anybody.

    No Clue

    James Hay

  • You will find much to incriminate society and precious little that will incriminate me.

    The Secret House

    Edgar Wallace

British Dictionary definitions for incriminate


verb (tr)
  1. to imply or suggest the guilt or error of (someone)
  2. to charge with a crime or fault
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Derived Formsincrimination, nounincriminator, nounincriminatory, adjective

Word Origin

C18: from Late Latin incrīmināre to accuse, from Latin crīmen accusation; see crime
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 incriminate


1730, back-formation from incrimination or else from Medieval Latin incriminatus, past participle of incriminare "to incriminate," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + criminare "to accuse of a crime," from crimen (genitive criminis) "crime" (see crime). Related: Incriminated; incriminating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper