mea culpa

[ mey-uh kuhl-puh, mee-uh; Latin me-ah kool-pah ]
/ ˈmeɪ ə ˈkʌl pə, ˈmi ə; Latin ˈmɛ ɑ ˈkʊl pɑ /


my fault! (used as an acknowledgment of one's responsibility).

noun plural me·a cul·pas.

an acknowledgment of one's responsibility for a fault or error.

Nearby words

  1. me-media,
  2. me-time,
  3. me-too,
  4. me-tooism,
  5. me.,
  6. meacon,
  7. mead,
  8. mead, george herbert,
  9. mead, lake,
  10. mead, margaret

Origin of mea culpa

< Latin: through my fault Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for mea culpa

mea culpa

/ Latin (ˈmeɪɑː ˈkʊlpɑː) /

an acknowledgment of guilt

Word Origin for mea culpa

literally: my fault

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 mea culpa

mea culpa

Latin, literally "I am to blame," a phrase from the prayer of confession in the Latin liturgy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for mea culpa

mea culpa

[ (may-uh kul-puh, kool-puh) ]

An expression from Catholic ritual that assigns blame to oneself: “I gave you the wrong directions to my house — mea culpa.” From Latin, meaning “my fault” or “my blame.”

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.