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[gil-tee] /ˈgɪl ti/
adjective, guiltier, guiltiest.
having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; justly subject to a certain accusation or penalty; culpable:
The jury found her guilty of murder.
characterized by, connected with, or involving guilt:
guilty intent.
having or showing a sense of guilt, whether real or imagined:
a guilty conscience.
Origin of guilty
before 1000; Middle English; Old English gyltig. See guilt, -y1
Related forms
guiltily, adverb
guiltiness, noun
overguilty, adjective
quasi-guiltily, adverb
quasi-guilty, adjective
2. criminal, felonious, culpable; illicit, nefarious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for guiltiness
Historical Examples
  • Down-casting, sense of guiltiness, and hunger, are often best for us.

    Letters of Samuel Rutherford Samuel Rutherford
  • It accused her of some guiltiness, uncommitted and indefensible.

  • Oh, the meanness and the guiltiness of the life I am leading now!

    Miss or Mrs.? Wilkie Collins
  • Think not shame because of your guiltiness; necessity must not blush to beg.

    Letters of Samuel Rutherford Samuel Rutherford
  • Did it not happen to us, as it did to Adam, that a feeling of shame and guiltiness came over us at once?

    The Good News of God Charles Kingsley
  • Dove even confessed to a feeling of guiltiness, yet could remember no offence.

    Miss Primrose Roy Rolfe Gilson
  • This was that the prisoner's guiltiness was the only plausible solution that had ever been advanced of the Bow Mystery.

    The Big Bow Mystery I. Zangwill
  • Your father's innocence now must be maintained instead of his guiltiness.

    Erema R. D. Blackmore
  • There are long careers of guiltiness whose devilish nature becomes apparent only when innocence suffers with it.

  • The gulf between holiness and guiltiness tends also to disappear.

    Preaching and Paganism Albert Parker Fitch
British Dictionary definitions for guiltiness


adjective guiltier, guiltiest
responsible for an offence or misdeed
(law) having committed an offence or adjudged to have done so: the accused was found guilty
(law) plead guilty, (of a person charged with an offence) to admit responsibility; confess
of, showing, or characterized by guilt: a guilty smile, guilty pleasures
Derived Forms
guiltily, adverb
guiltiness, noun
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 guiltiness

late 14c., from guilty + -ness.



Old English gyltig, from gylt (see guilt (n.)). Of conscience, feelings, etc., 1590s. Meaning "person who is guilty" is from 1540s. To plead not guilty is from 15c.; to plead guilty is 19c., though, as OED notes, "Guilty is technically not a plea, but a confession."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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