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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 guilty
  • Skilling were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy today.
  • Powers endured a high-publicity trial and was found guilty of espionage.
  • Willard was found guilty and hanged shortly afterward.
  • The ballplayer was found guilty of battery, but a friendly judge suspended his sentence.
  • It turns out that there was a transcript kept of the trial, but when he was found not guilty they never printed it up.
  • Groups found guilty of hazing can lose university recognition, funds, and use of campus facilities.
  • He was tried and found guilty at the time, but not definitively convicted.
  • The judicial officials could now each face a spell of ten years behind bars, if found guilty.
  • He was, as the court martial found, absolutely guilty as charged.
  • The jury found the two arson defendants guilty, but the judge handed down lenient sentences.
British Dictionary definitions for guilty


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 guilty

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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