Definition of blame in US English:

blame

verb

[with object]
  • 1Assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.

    ‘the inquiry blamed the engineer for the accident’
    • ‘Once you start, it is essential that you don't just blurt it all out as this may sound like you are blaming him.’
    • ‘It was one of the rare cases in which blaming the messengers is totally justified.’
    • ‘Predictably, the farmers and the press are blaming the government for mishandling the crisis.’
    • ‘Yesterday, the commission played down the figures, blaming a harsh winter for the increases.’
    • ‘They must put their houses in order, however painful it is, and stop blaming the west for all their ills.’
    • ‘I can recall blaming a sibling for all sorts of naughtiness when I was younger.’
    • ‘The annual shopping gala looked set to be cut to three days this year with the organisers blaming a lack of cash and interest.’
    • ‘So is blaming the fact that women bear children for lack of professional progress simply a convenient excuse?’
    • ‘So let's see change and stop forever blaming motor vehicles for environmental and climatic change.’
    • ‘This study and the other one in the magazine blaming fast food and its advertising is wrong.’
    • ‘The council has now promised to withdraw the advert, blaming an administrative error for the blunder.’
    • ‘My only new reservation stems from her blaming her band for playing the wrong song.’
    • ‘Many people are now asking why he would do such a thing, blaming his famous ego for getting the better of him, as it has before.’
    • ‘What should we be doing now, so that in another 50 years they will not be blaming us for our lack of foresight?’
    • ‘From his tone I wondered if he was partially blaming me for this inconvenience.’
    • ‘It now makes multi-billion profits while blaming the government for high petrol prices.’
    • ‘It is no good blaming motorists for all the snarl ups in the town centre.’
    • ‘The community must look at itself critically rather than blaming the rest of the world for its problems.’
    • ‘In his court declaration, he blames his election agent for the oversight.’
    • ‘There will be no point blaming the employer, it is ourselves we will have to blame.’
    hold responsible, hold accountable, hold liable, lay the blame on, place the blame on
    ascribe to, attribute to, impute to, lay at the door of, put down to, set down to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1blame something on Assign the responsibility for something bad to (someone or something)
      ‘they blame youth crime on unemployment’
      • ‘It's just another case of someone deciding that it's easier and more profitable to blame his problems on some faceless company instead of actually taking some responsibility.’
      • ‘The prime minister has sought to blame the problem on local crime, but others suspect an international link.’
      • ‘Officials blamed the situation on an unprecedented rise in emergency cases.’
      • ‘He blamed the situation on a downturn in retailing nationally, rising interest rates and the town's new traffic system.’
      • ‘He is too experienced now to blame his mistakes on youth.’
      • ‘The whole situation had been blamed on me, so for the whole day I was getting dirty looks from the general student body.’
      • ‘While overall crime rose by 4.2 per cent, the force blamed the increase on a new method of recording offences.’
      • ‘Parents and teachers blamed the situation on municipal governments which allowed bars to thrive around their schools.’
      • ‘He blamed the current situation on general economic trends within the textile industry.’
      • ‘He has blamed their financial situation on a national downturn in tourism and the impact of the floods.’
      • ‘Somehow, through the muddling of my thoughts, I blamed the whole situation on him.’
      • ‘Some people are blaming the trend on a violent youth culture, now exported worldwide through animation, comic strips and video games.’
      • ‘People have blamed this phenomena on many things.’
      • ‘I feel somehow justified in blaming this utter lack of sporting ability on my upbringing.’
      • ‘I still did not like the tone of the meeting, during which I felt like the principal was somehow blaming the situation on me.’
      • ‘The increased emissions were blamed on more coal being burned for electricity.’
      • ‘I'm not sure who to blame this situation on exactly.’
      • ‘I also blame the situation on a lack of screening at the hospital.’
      • ‘The spokeswoman denied that the airline had a deliberate policy of overbooking and blamed the problem on an ‘unfortunate error’.’
      • ‘Oh, and if you think you will get away with blaming it all on him, forget it.’
      attribute, assign, ascribe, put down, set down, accredit, credit, give the credit for, impute
      View synonyms

noun

  • Responsibility for a fault or wrong.

    ‘his players had to take the blame’
    ‘they are trying to put the blame on us’
    • ‘For many reasons, the water leak persisted with no-one ready to accept blame.’
    • ‘In an interview with a Sunday newspaper, he denied any blame and pointed the finger at senior commanders.’
    • ‘A lot of blame for the whole situation must be laid at the door of the parents of these young hooligans.’
    • ‘It is easy to put the blame on such things, and assume that the loutish behaviour is inevitable.’
    • ‘The author hereby absolves herself of all knowledge, responsibility and blame.’
    • ‘Nobody else interfered, there is no one else to take the blame from him.’
    • ‘Put another way, the audience itself will have to take the blame for promoting such songs.’
    • ‘He says a lot of people have to share the blame for what went wrong - including the government.’
    • ‘It tried to put the blame on to the United Nations for not providing air support.’
    • ‘She had made false accusations against him, made him go on the run and set him up to take the blame for her frauds.’
    • ‘Management must, however, be big enough to take the blame for this error in judgment.’
    • ‘It is impossible to solve the safety problems when no one will take the blame for what has happened.’
    • ‘This statement could have at least two possible meanings, both of which exonerate the speaker of any blame.’
    • ‘If at least a few of them fail to impress you, we will take the blame for being incorrect.’
    • ‘She was also setting him up to take the blame for a fraud at the firm where she worked.’
    • ‘The company's spindoctors are now working overtime to put the blame on everyone but themselves.’
    • ‘If the athletes have to take the blame for when they lose, shouldn't they get the rewards when they win?’
    • ‘The blame lies rather with the politicians, particularly for the war.’
    • ‘They were always trying to put the blame on anyone but themselves for what happened.’
    • ‘The county was upset and those in charge, as ever, carried the burden of blame.’
    responsibility, guilt, accountability, liability, onus, blameworthiness, culpability, fault
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • be to blame

    • Be responsible for a fault or wrong.

      ‘he was to blame for their deaths’
      • ‘Road safety groups estimate 23 people have died in accidents on Britain's roads where mobiles were to blame.’
      • ‘Inquiries can pinpoint what went wrong, and who was to blame.’
      • ‘They are wrong to conclude from this coincidence that economic growth is to blame for unhappiness.’
      • ‘It was never clear exactly what he felt was wrong, who was to blame, or what should be done about it.’
      • ‘Poor equipment, poor training and poor leadership all were to blame there, as well as a logistical snafu that led to fuel contamination.’
      • ‘The company that produces the weapons said other factors - such as medical conditions or incapacitation due to drink or drugs - were to blame for the deaths.’
      • ‘An electrical fault is believed to be to blame for the small fire which caused the meltdown.’
      • ‘His father thought rats chewing through electrical wires may have caused a fault which was to blame for the fire.’
      • ‘Children this age are also interested in issues such as who is to blame or who is at fault.’
      • ‘She said that there was no one reason for the rise in divorce but a combination of social and economic factors were to blame.’
  • I don't (or can't) blame you (or her etc.)

    • Used to indicate that one agrees that the action or attitude taken was reasonable.

      ‘he was becoming impatient and I couldn't blame him’
      • ‘The waitresses hated him, and I don't blame them.’
      • ‘I guess I can't blame him for being impatient, if indeed he is and not simply excited.’
      • ‘I will say that I don't blame them for being upset.’
      • ‘I don't blame your parents for wanting to protect you, and I don't blame you for being loyal to your friend.’
      • ‘If you are confused by all this, I don't blame you.’
      • ‘As for your foreign language requirement: I don't blame you if you don't feel you need to learn a foreign language.’
      • ‘I feel for them, I don't blame them for trying and I wish them well.’
      • ‘Very few people attend city council meetings and I don't blame them.’
      • ‘He is well within his rights to do that and I don't blame him for doing it.’
      • ‘I know you moan about me behind my back, my dear, and I don't blame you for it for a minute.’
  • have only oneself to blame

    • Be solely responsible for something bad that has happened.

      • ‘You have only yourself to blame for this travesty.’
      • ‘If they then enjoy material success but lack cultural ‘respect,’ they have only themselves to blame.’
      • ‘Let citizens have only themselves to blame for major zoning decisions.’
      • ‘If these men are released, the prosecution will have only themselves to blame.’
      • ‘We have only ourselves to blame for letting the politicians give away power, in defiance of our constitutional rights.’
      • ‘The government has only itself to blame for this state of affairs.’
      • ‘It was an unexpected rebuff to the government, but the Blairites have only themselves to blame.’
      • ‘Dublin have only themselves to blame for the score that put a goal between the sides.’
      • ‘If you loose, you have only yourself to blame.’
      • ‘The failure of journalists to ‘see through the facade’ is something for which they have only themselves to blame.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French blamer, blasmer (verb), from a popular Latin variant of ecclesiastical Latin blasphemare ‘reproach, revile, blaspheme’, from Greek blasphēmein (see blaspheme).

Pronunciation

blame

/bleɪm//blām/