[kuhl-puh; Latin kool-pah]
noun, plural culpae [kuhl-pee; Latin kool-pahy] .
Roman and Civil Law. negligence; neglect (distinguished from dolus ): One is not always liable before law for culpa resulting in damages.
guilt; sin.

1250–1300; Old English < Latin: fault, liability, blame Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
culpa (ˈkʊlpɑː)
n , pl -pae
1.  civil law an act of neglect
2.  a fault; sin; guilt
[Latin: fault]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

mea culpa
late 14c., from L., lit. "I am to blame," a phrase from the prayer of confession in the L. liturgy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
mea culpa [(may-uh kul-puh, kool-puh)]

An expresssion from Catholic ritual that assigns blame to oneself: “I gave you the wrong directions to my house — mea culpa.” From Latin, meaning “my fault” or “my blame.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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