a. The fact of being responsible for the commission of an offense; moral culpability: The investigation uncovered the suspect's guilt. See Synonyms at blame.
b. Law The fact of having been found to have violated a criminal law; legal culpability: The jury's job is to determine the defendant's guilt or innocence.
c. Responsibility for a mistake or error: The guilt for the book's many typos lies with the editor.
2. A painful emotion experienced when one believes one's actions or thoughts have violated a moral or personal standard: She felt guilt for not having helped the injured animal.
tr.v. guilt·ed, guilt·ing, guilts
1. To make or try to make (someone) feel guilty: My roommate guilted me for forgetting to wash the dishes.
2. To cause (someone) to do something by arousing feelings of guilt: My roommate guilted me into washing the dishes.
[Middle English gilt, from Old English gylt, crime.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.