[in-kuhl-peyt, in-kuhl-peyt]

verb (used with object), in·cul·pat·ed, in·cul·pat·ing.

to charge with fault; blame; accuse.
to involve in a charge; incriminate.

Origin of inculpate

1790–1800; < Late Latin inculpātus past participle of inculpāre to blame, equivalent to Latin in- in-2 + culp(a) fault + -ātus -ate1; cf. culpable
Related formsin·cul·pa·tion, nounin·cul·pa·to·ry [in-kuhl-puh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈkʌl pəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
Can be confusedexculpate exonerate inculpateexculpatory inculpatory

Antonyms for inculpate

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

Related Words for inculpate

incriminate, involve, charge, implicate, accuse

Examples from the Web for inculpate

Historical Examples of inculpate

  • He was unwilling to tell what he had seen, lest it inculpate someone.

    The Gold Bag

    Carolyn Wells

  • The accused is at liberty not to answer a question which may inculpate him.

  • But I have already said I am not here to excuse myself or inculpate others.

    The Talisman

    Sir Walter Scott

  • It shows how anxious the governor was to remove from his path all those who could inculpate him.

  • Still nothing has transpired to inculpate any one, or, in the finding of a coroner's jury, connect man or woman with it.

    Gwen Wynn

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for inculpate



(tr) to incriminate; cause blame to be imputed to
Derived Formsinculpation, nouninculpative (ɪnˈkʌlpətɪv) or inculpatory (ɪnˈkʌlpətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective

Word Origin for inculpate

C18: from Late Latin inculpāre, from Latin culpāre to blame, from culpa fault, blame
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 inculpate

1799, "to accuse, bring charges against," from Medieval Latin inculpatus, past participle of inculpare "to reproach, blame, censure," from Latin in- "in" (see in- (2)) + culpare "to blame," from culpa "fault." But inculpable (late 15c.) means "not culpable, free from blame," from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + culpare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper