[in-dahyt-muh nt]
See more synonyms for indictment on
  1. an act of indicting.
  2. Law. a formal accusation initiating a criminal case, presented by a grand jury and usually required for felonies and other serious crimes.
  3. any charge, accusation, serious criticism, or cause for blame.
  4. the state of being indicted.

Origin of indictment

1275–1325; indict + -ment; replacing Middle English enditement < Anglo-French (see indite)
Related formsnon·in·dict·ment, nounre·in·dict·ment, nounsu·per·in·dict·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indictment

Contemporary Examples of indictment

Historical Examples of indictment

  • There is another article, and far more damaging, in the indictment.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • The Inspector seized on the one flaw left him for defense against her indictment.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • In his heart he knew there was justification for her indictment, truth in what she had said.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Falsepeace insisted that he was wrongly named in the indictment.


    James Anthony Froude

  • But Corinne's glances toward the rigid Pascal held no indictment.

    Weak on Square Roots

    Russell Burton

British Dictionary definitions for indictment


noun criminal law
  1. a formal written charge of crime formerly referred to and presented on oath by a grand jury
  2. any formal accusation of crime
  3. Scot a charge of crime brought at the instance of the Lord Advocate
  4. the act of indicting or the state of being indicted
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 indictment

c.1300, endytement "action of accusing," from Anglo-French enditement, from enditer (see indict). Meaning "legal document containing a charge" is from c.1500. Latin spelling restored 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

indictment in Culture



A formal accusation of a crime, presented to the accused party after the charges have been considered by a grand jury.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.