verb (used with object)
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Origin of indict
OTHER WORDS FROM indictin·dict·ee, nounin·dict·er, in·dict·or, nounre·in·dict, verb (used with object)un·in·dict·ed, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH indictindict , indite
Words nearby indict
What does indict mean?
To indict someone is to officially charge them with a crime that will be the subject of a criminal trial.
Indicting a suspect is the final step in the evidence-gathering process before a person is put on trial for a serious crime, especially a felony. The official announcement of this accusation is called an indictment. In the U.S., such indictments are presented by a grand jury—the group of people responsible for determining whether there is enough evidence of a crime for a suspect to be put on trial.
Indict can also be used in a more general way, outside of a legal context, to mean to accuse or strongly criticize, or to reveal something as being deserving of criticism. The noun indictment can also be used in this more general sense.
Example: The suspect has been indicted for armed robbery and will face trial next month.
Where does indict come from?
The first records of the word indict come from around 1300. It ultimately comes from the Latin indīctus, a form of the verb indīcere, meaning “to announce” or “to proclaim.”
To indict is to formally announce a criminal accusation against someone. An indictment is issued only after a prosecutor and a grand jury have determined that police investigators have gathered enough evidence to charge someone with a crime. In the U.S. and the U.K., the law requires an indictment in order to charge someone with a serious crime or felony. This process is intended to ensure that a case only goes to trial if there is sufficient evidence.
Outside of the courtroom, indict is often used in the context of strong criticism of serious wrongdoing, especially when it’s delivered in a formal way, as in Today’s opinion piece indicts the administration’s decision-making. In this sense, to indict isn’t always to make a statement—someone’s bad behavior could indict their character.
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What are some other forms related to indict?
- indictment (noun)
- indictable (adjective)
- indictee (noun)
- indicter (noun)
- indictor (noun)
- reindict (verb)
- unindicted (adjective)
What are some synonyms for indict?
What are some words that share a root or word element with indict?
What are some words that often get used in discussing indict?
What are some words indict may be commonly confused with?
How is indict used in real life?
Indict is usually used in the context of serious crimes or wrongdoing.
Three Former Hilo Correctional Officers Indicted for Assaulting an Inmate and Attempting to Cover it Up https://t.co/EbI1ytTbgu
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) July 1, 2020
In 2013, Nicholas Schmidle wrote about the case against Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci, who was recently indicted for war crimes.https://t.co/X806IwBw6A
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) June 30, 2020
As always, the people who rip on P.K. Subban's character invariably fail and only indict their own. He's great. Get over it.
— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) April 29, 2017
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True or False?
Suspects are indicted at the end of a criminal trial.
Example sentences from the Web for indict
We see a system that will indict a 20-year-old for selling crack but not a police officer for choking the life out of a citizen.
Both were killed by police officers, but grand juries failed to indict in either case.Alleged Cop Killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley Had a Death Wish|M.L. Nestel|December 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I looked in the news and watched the news last night after the grand jury decided not to indict him.Even Grade School Kids Are Protesting the Garner Killing Now|Caitlin Dickson|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Even though a grand jury chose not to indict the cop who killed Eric Garner, the video is damning of police.‘I Can’t Breathe!’ ‘I Can’t Breathe!’ A Moral Indictment of Cop Culture|Michael Daly|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Today, a grand jury announced that it would not indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo.First Mike Brown, Then Eric Garner: Prosecutors Can’t Be Trusted to Try Cops|Sally Kohn|December 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In the name of all the best interests of the church, I indict one-half the sextons.Around The Tea-Table|T. De Witt Talmage
When no one knew what might happen to himself, why should he indict his neighbour for treason?The Life of John Milton, Volume 5 (of 7), 1654-1660|David Masson
Indict and arraign apply strictly to criminal proceedings, and only an alleged criminal is indicted or arraigned.English Synonyms and Antonyms|James Champlin Fernald
And let any one who will, indict him on the charge of loving base gains, and proceed against him before the guardians of the law.Laws|Plato
The Grand Jury refused to indict them, but the number of recalcitrants has gradually diminished.The Boss and the Machine|Samuel P. Orth