Definition of implicate in English:



  • 1Show (someone) to be involved in a crime.

    ‘police claims implicated him in many more killings’
    • ‘Then if I am ever implicated in a crime that I didn't commit, I can prove my exact whereabouts beyond any reasonable doubt.’
    • ‘That would have included evidence implicating him in murder, would it?’
    • ‘It transpired that one of the girls she sought to implicate was out of town on a sports trip when the ‘exchange’ took place.’
    • ‘The results implicate the area's wild foods, said one expert.’
    • ‘She again denied allegations implicating her in the scam.’
    • ‘The report also implicated the gene in diabetes in an isolated population of people from Finland.’
    • ‘However, the accused said he had been falsely implicated in the case.’
    • ‘It would not, your Honour, but also, though, in the end, it would not necessarily implicate him in murder either.’
    • ‘I know it to be true because my own father was indirectly implicated.’
    • ‘I was able to show that several had been ‘doctored’ after Mary's forced abdication to justify what her enemies had done to her, implicating her in crimes she didn't commit.’
    • ‘Yes, contrary to popular belief, often testing is used to exonerate or exculpate possible suspects rather than implicate.’
    • ‘He never discussed actions, which would implicate him in a crime.’
    • ‘Yesterday, he also laid out an intricate plot to implicate him in his former wife's murder, stopping short of calling it political interference.’
    • ‘Otherwise, we will never get any solution to the problem, because too many people in the legal system and in the law enforcement offices are either directly or indirectly implicated.’
    • ‘It took some years for her finally to break her contacts with her pimp as he and others tried to implicate her in the murders she had witnessed.’
    • ‘Such explicitly parodic celebrities implicate themselves in the culture industry's deception.’
    • ‘He is apologising to a childhood friend for implicating him in a burglary 20 years ago.’
    • ‘They took a very one-sided and heavy handed approach towards implicating you in a large amount of crimes.’
    • ‘She had always felt that, by refusing to implicate him in the crime of adultery, she was saving him from the ruin that she faced every day.’
    • ‘They've been doing everything they can since my release to somehow implicate me with this crime, which is very unethical, but they do it anyways.’
    incriminate, compromise
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    1. 1.1Bear some of the responsibility for (an action or process, especially a criminal or harmful one)
      ‘the team believes he is heavily implicated in the bombing’
      ‘a chemical implicated in ozone depletion’
      • ‘In the second series of experiments, the puppet was destroyed but was clearly out of the child's reach, therefore eliminating the possibility that the child could be implicated in the action.’
      • ‘Defects in the ability of the E3 to interact with substrates have been implicated in numerous diseases, including neurodegeneration, immunological disorders, hypertension and cancers.’
      • ‘Some of America's other premier companies were also implicated in the scandal.’
      • ‘The people who were implicated in major corruption scandals are still key personalities in high-level civil service.’
      • ‘At least six travel agencies had been implicated in the alleged scam.’
      • ‘You can't get a man who's clean and not a single American rider has been implicated in these latest charges.’
      • ‘Some Members of Parliament are being implicated in the illegal mining activities.’
      • ‘I did indeed feel a certain admiration but it was mixed with revulsion that I was now implicated in blackmail just by knowing about it.’
      • ‘If you are satisfied that he was implicated in the acts in which he is said to have been implicated, he must as completely satisfy you that he is not answer able by reason of unsoundness of mind.’
      • ‘But if you are implicated in the wrongdoing - especially if a hot topic like tax evasion or securities fraud is involved - then watch out.’
      • ‘Arbitrary arrest and detention is common and the armed forces are directly implicated in several murders.’
      • ‘Bellbirds have been implicated in the death of swathes of forest between Victoria and Queensland.’
      • ‘Under circumstances like these, whether he was implicated in the taking was an issue of fact for the jury.’
      • ‘No one can say for sure who was implicated to a greater degree in the riots.’
      • ‘In all, 67 students were implicated in the scam that involved nearly $170,000.’
      • ‘Brain regions previously implicated in the regulation of attention and impulse control contributed to these interactions.’
      • ‘No one was accusing me, but I'm implicated in the crime in a way that I could avoid at home - by blaming the government and the media.’
      • ‘Inappropriate folding of specific protein molecules is now being implicated in a number of diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases.’
      • ‘If you cannot tell if a brand of fresh spinach was implicated in the outbreak, and the package has a ‘use by date’ of October 1, 2006 or earlier, you should not purchase or eat it.’
      • ‘Disturbances of normal endothelial function are strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and autoimmune vascular diseases.’
      involve in, concern with, associate with, connect with, tie up with
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    2. 1.2US Involve (something) in a necessary way.
      ‘cable franchise activities plainly implicate First Amendment interests’
      • ‘Any governmental action that interferes with the willingness of customers to purchase books, or booksellers to sell books, thus implicates First Amendment concerns.’
      • ‘After all, things like gender that are implicated in all social life are necessarily implicated in all social injustice.’
      • ‘The idea of crossing implicates movement in contrary or opposing directions…’
      • ‘This privacy interest implicates two guarantees of the Bill of Rights.’
      • ‘The nutrients most strongly implicated in asthma etiology and their putative mechanisms of action are listed in Table 1.’
  • 2[with clause] Convey (a meaning or intention) indirectly through what one says, rather than stating it explicitly; imply.

    ‘by saying that coffee would keep her awake, Mary implicated that she didn't want any’
    • ‘She tried to sound cheerful about it, but her undertone implicated that she wasn't looking forward to more staring and pointing from complete strangers.’
    • ‘In conclusion, the current study implicates that passive smoking in childhood has a lasting effect on the airways, increasing the risk for adult respiratory symptoms and asthma.’
    • ‘Using the media richness concept implicates that the content of messages conveyed through the different electronic media should be in accordance with their specific characteristics.’
    • ‘This implicates that the man would know everything in order to be questioned by his less knowledgeable wife who would not be allowed to speak there anyway.’
    • ‘By releasing this record, she implicates that someone, somewhere, is wringing their hands in anticipation for it.’
    • ‘She is the walking example that being ‘physically challenged’ does not implicate that one cannot be successful.’
    insinuate, suggest, hint, intimate, say indirectly, indicate, give someone to understand, give someone to believe, convey the impression, signal
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  • A thing implied.

    • ‘This is an implicate of the inscripturation of revelation.’
    • ‘The dual nature of the Heart represents the meeting of the changeless and the changing, the inevitable and the contingent, the implicate and the manifest.’


Late Middle English: from Latin implicatus folded in past participle of implicare (see imply). The original sense was entwine, entangle; compare with employ and imply. The earliest modern sense ( implicate) dates from the early 17th century, but appears earlier in implication.