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[kuhl-puh-buh l] /ˈkʌl pə bəl/
deserving blame or censure; blameworthy.
Origin of culpable
1275-1325; Middle English < Latin culpābilis, equivalent to culpā(re) to hold liable (derivative of culpa blame) + -bilis -ble; replacing Middle English coupable < Middle French < Latin as above
Related forms
culpability, culpableness, noun
culpably, adverb
nonculpable, adjective
nonculpableness, noun
nonculpably, adverb
unculpable, adjective
reprehensible. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for culpable
  • And you my dear are culpable for trying to paper over the ugly reality.
  • For example, if you choose to do drugs, you are culpable for decisions you make while under the influence of those drugs.
  • When they fail in that charge, they are criminally negligent and culpable for their actions.
  • However, this moral philosopher is certainly guilty of culpable negligence with respect to the truth.
  • But he offered two exceptions both on the grounds that societal pressure made society partially culpable.
  • She's puzzled that people think her remotely culpable in the affair.
  • Cal's senior management is either incompetent or culpable.
  • Investigators have failed to find anyone culpable for killing civilians.
  • No one country is to blame: many of the participants are culpable.
  • With regard to the rest of us, in the absence of fraud, borrower and lender are equally culpable.
British Dictionary definitions for culpable


deserving censure; blameworthy
Derived Forms
culpability, culpableness, noun
culpably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French coupable, from Latin culpābilis, from culpāre to blame, from culpa 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
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Word Origin and History for culpable

late 13c., coupable, from Old French coupable (12c., Modern French coupable), from Latin culpabilis "worthy of blame," from culpare "to blame," from culpa "crime, fault, blame, guilt, error." English (and for a time French) restored the first Latin -l- in later Middle Ages.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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