tr.v. blamed, blam·ing, blames
1. To consider responsible for a misdeed, failure, or undesirable outcome: blamed the coach for the loss; blamed alcohol for his bad behavior.
2. To find fault with; criticize: I can't blame you for wanting your fair share.
3. To place responsibility for (something): blamed the crisis on poor planning.
1. The state of being responsible for a fault or error; culpability.
2. Censure; condemnation: "Hoover hazarded more in the way of federal response to economic crisis than any president before him, but his efforts were not enough to divert the blame and wrath of the American people" (Michael B. Stoff).
1. Deserving censure or disapproval; at fault: an investigation to determine who was to blame for the leak.
2. Being the cause or source of something: A freak storm was to blame for the power outage.
[Middle English blamen, from Old French blasmer, blamer, from Vulgar Latin *blastēmāre, alteration of Late Latin blasphēmāre, to reproach; see BLASPHEME.]
blama·ble, blamea·ble adj.
blama·bly, blamea·bly adv.
Synonyms: blame, fault, guilt
These nouns denote responsibility for an offense or error. Blame stresses the assignment of accountability and often connotes censure or criticism: The police laid the blame for the accident on the driver.
Fault suggests a failure or deficiency on the part of the responsible party: It's my own fault that I wasn't prepared for the exam.
Guilt applies to willful wrongdoing and stresses moral or legal transgression: The prosecution had evidence of the defendant's guilt.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.