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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 culpably
Historical Examples
  • Up to this time I have been culpably weak, and it is no use now to act in an opposite direction.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • And they that think it culpably defective in phrase, aptness, or elegancy of style.

    A Christian Directory Baxter Richard
  • I have been culpably foolish; but I will not damage his future.'

    Old Kensington Miss Thackeray
  • I know of no others; but there may be many that I am culpably ignorant of.

    Literature and Life William Dean Howells
  • But I think that, in this business, the police have been culpably supine.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • This behaviour of Sir Nicholas' was of course most culpably indiscreet.

    By What Authority? Robert Hugh Benson
  • Heaven, I hope, will some time grant me the power to compensate yon for all that I have culpably or innocently made you suffer.

    Jane Talbot Charles Brockden Brown
  • They are culpably blind who mistake the creature for the Creator.

  • That many whose education and position in life are culpably criminal on these points, is no excuse for your short-comings.

    Folly as It Flies Fanny Fern
  • It is a fact that Brandon was always impulsive and culpably careless about himself.

    Cord and Creese James de Mille
British Dictionary definitions for culpably


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 culpably



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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