What does guilt mean?

Definitions for guilt

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word guilt.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. guilt, guiltinessnoun

    the state of having committed an offense

  2. guilt, guilty conscience, guilt feelings, guilt tripnoun

    remorse caused by feeling responsible for some offense


  1. Guiltnoun

    A feeling of regret or remorse for having committed some improper act; a recognition of one's own responsibility for doing something wrong.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. GUILTnoun

    Etymology: gilt, Saxon, originally signified the fine or mulct paid for an offence, and afterward the offence itself.

    It was neither guilt of crime, nor reason of state, that could quench the envy that was upon the king for this execution. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    When these two are taken away, the possibility of guilt, and the possibility of innocence, what restraint can the belief of the creed lay upon any man? Henry Hammond, on Fundamentals.

    Close pent up guilts
    Rive your concealing continents, and ask
    These dreadful summoners grace. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Guiltverb

    the criminality and consequent exposure to punishment resulting from willful disobedience of law, or from morally wrong action; the state of one who has broken a moral or political law; crime; criminality; offense against right

  2. Guiltverb

    exposure to any legal penalty or forfeiture

  3. Etymology: [OE. gilt, gult, AS. gylt, crime; probably originally signifying, the fine or mulct paid for an offence, and afterward the offense itself, and akin to AS. gieldan to pay, E. yield. See Yield, v. t.]


  1. Guilt

    Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Guilt

    gilt, n. punishable conduct: the state of having broken a law: crime: wickedness.—adv. Guilt′ily.—n. Guilt′iness.—adj. Guilt′less, free from crime: innocent.—adv. Guilt′lessly.—n. Guilt′lessness.—adj. Guilt′y, justly chargeable with a crime: wicked: pertaining to guilt.—adv. Guilt′y-like (Shak.), guiltily.—Guilty of (sometimes in B.), deserving. [Orig. a payment or fine for an offence; A.S. gylt, guilt—gildan, to pay, to atone.]

  2. Guilt

    gilt, p.adj. (Spens.) gilded.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Guilt

    Subjective feeling of having committed an error, offense or sin; unpleasant feeling of self-criticism. These result from acts, impulses, or thoughts contrary to one's personal conscience.

Suggested Resources

  1. guilt

    The guilt symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the guilt symbol and its characteristic.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'guilt' in Nouns Frequency: #2024

How to pronounce guilt?

How to say guilt in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of guilt in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of guilt in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of guilt in a Sentence

  1. Anne Hathaway:

    I can’t believe we don’t already have it…When [my son] Johnny was a week old and I was holding him and I was in the ninth level of ecstasy, I just all of a sudden thought, ‘Mommy guilt is invented nonsense,’ we’re encouraged to judge each other, but we should be turning our focus to the people and institutions who should be supporting us and currently aren’t.

  2. Vega Gil letter:

    I will say this categorically, this accusation is false, let me make it clear that my death is not a confession of guilt, on the contrary it is a radical declaration of my innocence. I just want to clear the path my son will walk in the future.

  3. Tom Dening:

    Some degree of guilt is so often present in normal bereavement -- we usually think of things that we might have done or said differently -- but it is likely to be exaggerated with Covid-19, our experience is going to be complicated by the fact that we may feel that our loved one has died isolated and unsupported by us.

  4. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:

    I got the scars all over my back to prove that people jumped to conclusions, people jump to conclusions about guilt and innocence, and we shouldn't be doing those things.

  5. Susan Lucci:

    I've had the opportunity to say to women, give yourself permission to take care of yourself, you are the caretaker for everyone around you, and if you're not well, they're not going to get taken care of either. So be guilt-free, put yourself on that to-do list. Your wellbeing is great for you, and it's great for everyone you love, who loves you.

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Translations for guilt

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    being essentially equal to something
    • A. tantamount
    • B. jejune
    • C. commensal
    • D. lank

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