Definition of culprit in English:

culprit

noun

  • 1A person who is responsible for a crime or other misdeed.

    • ‘It is only with the help of local people that police can crack down on the crime spree, catch the culprits and bring them to justice.’
    • ‘In eight percent of the cases, the culprits plundered the victim's bank accounts.’
    • ‘Despite numerous red herrings, there's no way to logically deduce the culprit's identity.’
    • ‘The invaders are the real culprits in all cases.’
    • ‘A shot was discharged and the culprit fled the scene.’
    • ‘Frowning, I glanced around the room trying to find the culprit responsible for interrupting my reading.’
    • ‘They caught the real culprit so here I am.’
    • ‘But it is not enough to identify likely culprits.’
    • ‘A swift and thorough investigation must be launched to bring the culprits to justice.’
    • ‘The culprits behaved like seasoned thugs but claimed that they were guardians of law and order.’
    • ‘I don't recall the culprit ever been caught.’
    • ‘The car is returned and the real culprits are identified.’
    • ‘Apparently, as a manager, it was his responsibility to chase down the offending culprit and resolve the situation.’
    • ‘Police and all concerned parties are working together to bring the culprit or culprits to justice.’
    • ‘I have never heard any of the culprits being charged with any ‘crime’ whatsoever.’
    • ‘He said staff members were the main culprits in the theft of medicines from the public health centres.’
    • ‘Police say they are doing all they can to bring the culprits to justice.’
    • ‘The culprits fled the scene by car, abandoning the stolen tractor at the scene.’
    • ‘He alerted a police patrol at the top of the road and officers quickly arrived, by which time the culprits had fled.’
    • ‘We have a cop who falls in love with a possible culprit in a murder mystery.’
    guilty party, offender, wrongdoer, person responsible
    criminal, malefactor, lawbreaker, felon, delinquent, reprobate
    evil-doer, transgressor, sinner
    baddy, bad guy, wrong 'un, crook, crim
    malfeasant, misfeasor, infractor
    miscreant
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The cause of a problem or defect.
      ‘viruses could turn out to be the culprit’
      • ‘The real culprit, though, is the system of relegating three teams from Division One each season.’
      • ‘Digital photography and fewer people taking holidays appear to be the main culprits there.’
      • ‘The real culprit is poverty, disease and starvation.’
      • ‘Cooking odours are one of the main culprits that cause unpleasant household odours.’
      • ‘The person you see in that little mirror is the real culprit in the current crisis.’
      • ‘The real culprit is the private sector, far too dependent on low wages in the place of investment.’
      • ‘In this case the alleged villain is the drug companies but the real culprit is government.’
      • ‘What this book shows quite clearly is that the real culprit is the lack of political will.’
      • ‘A sinister, manipulative government and major corporate industries are exposed as the primary culprits.’
      • ‘If the culprit is depleted uranium they are probably out of luck because any clean up would take a very long time and cost a lot of money.’
      • ‘The doctors whispered that it was second-hand smoking, the worst culprit.’
      • ‘Nobody seems to know the cause of the deaths but the water seems a likely culprit.’
      • ‘The general public and scientists alike viewed electric power plants as the chief culprits.’
      • ‘To identify the suspected viral culprits in both these cases, they needed a lot more infected leaves.’
      • ‘The real culprit is the unchecked fragmentation of land holdings in the rural areas.’
      • ‘The main culprits for all that racket are the muscles of the palate and the uvula.’
      • ‘But she said supermarkets were the real culprits for selling alcohol to under-age drinkers.’

Origin

Late 17th century (originally in the formula Culprit, how will you be tried?, said by the Clerk of the Crown in England to a prisoner pleading not guilty): perhaps from a misinterpretation of the written abbreviation cul. prist, for Anglo-Norman French Culpable: prest d'averrer notre bille (You are) guilty: (We are) ready to prove our indictment; in later use influenced by Latin culpa fault, blame.

Pronunciation:

culprit

/ˈkəlprət//ˈkəlˌprit/