Definition of guilt by association in English:

guilt by association


  • Guilt ascribed to someone not because of any evidence but because of their association with an offender.

    • ‘Locke says it was a difficult decision - ‘in this province, a lot of people have guilt by association,’ he explains - but he decided to accept the offer.’
    • ‘We were already at war with terrorism, of course, a war that has led to preventive detention, guilt by association, ethnic profiling and spying without criminal suspicion.’
    • ‘‘Associates with known gang members’ (who could, of course, be relatives or neighbors) is clearly guilt by association.’
    • ‘It is a useful tactic to lump liberals (in the classic sense i.e. libertarians), fascists, and conservatives in the same camp so opponents can be misrepresented and dismissed through guilt by association.’
    • ‘Be yourself from the get-go so popular by association doesn't turn into guilt by association.’
    • ‘But I do regret guilt by association in politics.’
    • ‘Instead, the administration continues to defend its prerogative to detain foreign nationals without due process and to expel them solely on the basis of political speech or guilt by association.’
    • ‘And while he did not actually put the braces on my teeth or do the extracting of the wisdom teeth - he recommended both and has a major case of guilt by association.’
    • ‘Now, I could respond to this by merely saying that the charge constitutes guilt by association - a defense that always works when applied to a liberal.’
    • ‘But that argument proves too much, for it would authorize guilt by association whenever any organization engages in some illegal activity.’