at fault

Idioms & Phrases

at fault

Responsible for a mistake, trouble, or failure; deserving blame. For example, At least three cars were involved in the accident, so it was hard to determine which driver was at fault, or He kept missing the target and wondered if the sight on his new rifle was at fault. In Britain this usage was formerly considered incorrect but is now acceptable; in America it has been widespread since the mid-1800s. Also see in the wrong.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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