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[uh-kyoozd] /əˈkyuzd/
charged with a crime, wrongdoing, fault, etc.:
the accused boy.
a person or persons charged in a court of law with a crime, offense, etc. (often preceded by the).
Origin of accused
1585-95; accuse + -ed2
Related forms
misaccused, adjective
self-accused, adjective
unaccused, adjective


[uh-kyooz] /əˈkyuz/
verb (used with object), accused, accusing.
to charge with the fault, offense, or crime (usually followed by of):
He accused him of murder.
to find fault with; blame.
verb (used without object), accused, accusing.
to make an accusation.
1250-1300; Middle English ac(c)usen < Old French acuser < Latin accūsāre to call to account (ac- ac- + -cūs-, combining form of caus-; see cause)
Related forms
accusable, adjective
accusably, adverb
accusant, noun
accusingly, adverb
interaccuse, verb (used with object), interaccused, interaccusing.
nonaccusing, adjective
preaccuse, verb (used with object), preaccused, preaccusing.
reaccuse, verb (used with object), reaccused, reaccusing.
self-accusing, adjective
unaccusable, adjective
unaccusing, adjective
unaccusingly, adverb
Can be confused
accuse, allege, charge.
1. arraign, indict; incriminate, impeach.
1, 2. exonerate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for accused
  • Six officers have been suspended after being accused of mistreating suspects last year, the police said.
  • Already this year, he has backed two ministers accused of shady dealings, both of whom subsequently resigned.
  • The authorities have been accused of sacrificing those provinces to protect the capital's affluent business districts.
  • No one has ever accused me of being extravagant, but buying this exquisite little urn came close.
  • He was accused of hyperbole but seems, rather, to have been guilty of understatement.
  • My brother, the graphic designer, accused me of being visually illiterate.
  • During their terms, hundreds of ex-soldiers accused of atrocities have been arrested.
  • The two defendants are accused of conspiracy to commit computer fraud.
  • It had also been accused of incentivizing doctors for prescribing these drugs for unapproved uses via kickbacks.
  • The government in turn has accused critics of misinterpreting and mischaracterizing the law to generate fear about it.
British Dictionary definitions for accused


(law) the accused, the defendant or defendants appearing on a criminal charge


to charge (a person or persons) with some fault, offence, crime, etc; impute guilt or blame
Derived Forms
accuser, noun
accusing, adjective
accusingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin accūsāre to call to account, from ad- to + causa lawsuit
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
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Word Origin and History for accused

"person charged with a crime," 1590s, from past participle of accuse (v.).



c.1300, "charge (with an offense, etc.), impugn, blame," from Old French acuser "to accuse, indict, reproach, blame" (13c.), earlier "announce, report, disclose" (12c.), or directly from Latin accusare "to call to account," from ad- "against" (see ad-) + causari "give as a cause or motive," from causa "reason" (see cause (n.)). Related: Accused; accusing; accusingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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