What does guilt mean?

Definitions for guilt

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. Guilt

    Guilt is a song by British dubstep trio Nero. It was released as a digital download on 22 April 2011 by Chase & Status' record label, MTA Records. This song is featured on Nero's debut studio album, Welcome Reality.


  1. guilt

    Guilt is an emotional state or feeling experienced when a person believes or realizes that they have done something wrong, committed a mistake, or violated a moral standard. This often involves a sense of regret or remorse for the actions taken.

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. Lao Tzu:

    There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontentment. And there is not greater disaster than greed.

  2. Scott Harrison:

    I think so many charities have operated in shame and guilt: Let me make you feel as bad as possible about yourself so you’ll reach into your wallet and give. For us, it’s much more invitational. It’s a great opportunity not based in guilt or shame, no one is going to wear a T-shirt about an organization that makes you feel lousy about yourself. But we do wear T-shirts from Nike because Nike makes us feel great about ourselves. Nike believes that within us is greatness.

  3. Dan Fogelman:

    Guilt Trip's not something I certainly set out to do, but again, like it means something is being done right, i think crying -- because Guilt Trip's funny to put tissue box emoji on things on Twitter -- Guilt Trip becomes like an overarching narrative, and I get Guilt Trip. Guilt Trip's actually Guilt Trip, but I think Guilt Trip almost can make the power of what we're trying to do feel a little bit smaller because it seems like,' Oh, he's just trying to make you cry.'.

  4. Lisa Derderian:

    We are telling everyone, see mom virtually today, as much as you feel guilt on the front end for not seeing her, it's better than feeling guilt on the back end over the possibility you were carrying Covid-19 and you give it to mom or grandma, and the consequences were they got sick, or worse, it was fatal.

  5. Adrienne Rich:

    As her sons have seen her: the mother in patriarchy: controlling, erotic, castrating, heart-suffering, guilt-ridden, and guilt-provoking; a marble brow, a huge breast, an avid cave; between her legs snakes, swamp-grass, or teeth; on her lap a helpless infant or a martyred son. She exists for one purpose: to bear and nourish the son.

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Translations for guilt

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"guilt." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/guilt>.

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