Definition of culpable in English:



  • Deserving blame.

    ‘sometimes you're just as culpable when you watch something as when you actually participate’
    • ‘In this, of all ages, we should learn the lesson that to put only a fraction of the potentially culpable in the dock is to invite injustice.’
    • ‘While you list a number of shops that are failing to provide access to wheelchair users, other businesses are equally culpable.’
    • ‘And to remain apathetic in the face of such unnecessary suffering renders us all culpable.’
    • ‘It is difficult to apportion blame since both sides seem to be equally culpable.’
    • ‘We should record in particular that we have found no evidence of deliberate distortion or of culpable negligence.’
    • ‘How culpable are they, can they be held responsible and will they pay for their mistake?’
    • ‘Now if that is not a form of culpable negligence, then I do not know what is.’
    • ‘The culpable do not break down and confess their sins merely as the result of close questioning.’
    • ‘Now many of us will agree that such a person is culpable and guilty.’
    • ‘The above argument is not a defence of genuine culpable negligence.’
    • ‘It seems to me in the media, particular in this country in the national media, are so culpable.’
    • ‘It will not please England, though, that two of his wickets, both front-line batsmen, were culpable.’
    • ‘Equally culpable are drivers who use the outside lane, despite clear inside lanes, and travel far below the speed limit.’
    • ‘In fact, yours truly may be even more culpable for, as he and others have repeatedly said, I found the chief.’
    • ‘In public he pleads culpable to his part in that shock result.’
    • ‘But they are both culpable for putting political life on the danger list.’
    • ‘Here, knowledge and intent or culpable negligence would seem to be required for criminal liability.’
    • ‘Journalists who had followed the case from start to finish could not agree how culpable she was, how knowingly she lied.’
    • ‘If we believe that humans are morally culpable for sexual behavior then we must uphold that view.’
    • ‘If they don't, are they culpable for the death and suffering that results?’
    to blame, guilty, at fault, in the wrong, blameworthy, blameable, censurable, reproachable, reprovable, found wanting
    responsible, answerable, liable, accountable
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense deserving punishment): from Old French coupable, culpable, from Latin culpabilis, from culpare to blame from culpa fault, blame.