Definition of guilt trip in US English:

guilt trip


  • An experience of feeling guilty about something, especially when such guilt is excessive, self-indulgent, or unfounded.

    ‘let's skip the guilt trip and talk real, rational reasons’
    • ‘Scientists from the African diaspora aren't going to be hit over a head with a guilt trip but they can expect more offers of round-trip plane tickets and accommodation to pass on their knowledge back home at conferences and workshops.’
    • ‘The common reaction to peer pressure is the parental guilt trip.’
    • ‘The British public has been sold on a huge guilt trip that public consumption is good and private consumption selfish and ‘bad’.’
    • ‘Being reminded you haven't gone to church for a decade and a half is usually the start of an impressive guilt trip.’
    • ‘I knew that six weeks sounded longer than a month and half and that would give her a real guilt trip.’
    • ‘Are they truly over their Christian guilt trip?’
    • ‘But you are not helping by putting the guilt trip on them.’
    • ‘And when people get sick, they can't be on a guilt trip and say, oh my goodness, I should have prevented it.’
    • ‘I guess one of the wonders of technology is the capacity to lay a passive-aggressive guilt trip on me from 10,000 miles away.’
    • ‘Then when the explanation ended, the guilt trip began.’
    • ‘Don't feel you have to accomplish everything at once - that will put you on a guilt trip and you'll end up worse off.’
    • ‘The siblings can be resentful and then they go on an immense guilt trip.’
    • ‘But when you're unavailable - say you're grounded or have to babysit your bro - she tries to put you on a guilt trip.’
    • ‘So there is hope after all - the young Germans are getting over the collective guilt trip of their fathers and are not thinking they have to agree to every and any thing that has the words European Unity written all over it.’
    • ‘Giving a new guy a major guilt trip will likely backfire.’
    • ‘Fighting retail policies is a bureaucratic struggle, and educating consumers about how harmful everyday plastic items are just gives people a guilt trip without getting them to change their behaviour.’
    • ‘But it's a guilt trip that only works a few times.’
    • ‘The ones from his mother were as he expected, a guilt trip and gossip fest that he just skimmed through quickly.’
    • ‘By this point the guilt trip was beginning to work.’


[with object]
  • Make (someone) feel guilty, especially in order to induce them to do something.

    ‘a pay increase will not guilt-trip them into improvements’
    • ‘Jon accuses them of guilt-tripping all married readers by explaining their views in this book.’
    • ‘I'm not trying to guilt-trip anyone into anything.’
    • ‘She kind of guilt-tripped me into the visit the way only mothers can do so there's no way out.’
    • ‘Still, don't let his extravagant gesture guilt-trip you.’
    • ‘Did her Mum guilt-trip her into wanting to have the baby once she did find out?’
    • ‘They'll have to, if the rest of us are brave enough to make it clear that we're not buying what's pernicious or nonsensical in their claims and that we won't be intimidated or guilt-tripped into pretending otherwise.’
    • ‘Sure, abortion should be rare - but it should be rare thanks to birth control and support for women and children, not because women guilt-trip themselves into continuing crisis pregnancies.’
    • ‘Or I could yell at the woman and try to guilt-trip her into keeping her baby.’
    • ‘He also emailed me to thank me for the link (which guilt-tripped me into this post), so he's a nice guy too.’
    • ‘The very fact that welfare reformers are reduced to bribing, cajoling and guilt-tripping people into marriage should tell us something.’
    • ‘Extrapolating from cases of extreme neglect only serves to guilt-trip parents into believing that if they should mess up - even temporarily - there will be no second chance, and their children will be on the fast track to failure.’
    • ‘Danielle's innocence was used to guilt-trip people into going along with the commemorative events - even though some felt uncomfortable with them.’
    • ‘Act just as depressed as you were downstairs, and whatever you do, don't cave in when he guilt-trips you!’
    • ‘We have promised to go round and help Horace with his furniture winnowing before B's mum comes back from holiday and guilt-trips him in to keeping everything.’
    • ‘There is no point guilt-tripping the consumer.’
    • ‘His old man is an ageing slumlord who continuously guilt-trips his son into collecting overdue rent from tenants with whatever blunt object is available at the time.’
    • ‘They've been guilt-tripping me into sampling other coffees from locally-owned businesses, but nothing can match the taste of the coffee I've now grown to love.’
    • ‘Well, Patty kind of guilt-tripped them into it.’
    • ‘Now, both mothers and fathers find themselves irresolvably torn between the demands of work and family, distracted from fulfilling their potential in the public world while guilt-tripped out of the fulfilment of parenting.’
    • ‘The middle classes may be guilt-tripped into doing it, but engaging the great unwashed in this exercise may prove impossible.’