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Webster 1913 Edition


Guilt

Guilt

(gĭlt)
,
Noun.
[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
,
Verb.
T.
]
1.
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.
Satan had not answer, but stood struck
With
guilt
of his own sin.
Milton.
2.
Exposure to any legal penalty or forfeiture.
A ship incurs
guilt
by the violation of a blockade.
Kent.

Webster 1828 Edition


Guilt

GUILT

,
Noun.
gilt.
1.
Criminality; that state of a moral agent which results from his actual commission of a crime or offense, knowing it to be a crime, or violation of law. To constitute guilt there must be a moral agent enjoying freedom of will, and capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and a wilful or intentional violation of a known law, or rule of duty. The guilt of a person exists, as soon as the crime is committed; but to evince it to others, it must be proved by confession, or conviction in due course of law. Guilt renders a person a debtor to the law, as it binds him to pay a penalty in money or suffering. Guilt therefore implies both criminality and liableness to punishment. Guilt may proceed either from a positive act or breach of law, or from voluntary neglect of known duty.
2.
Criminality in a political or civil view; exposure to forfeiture or other penalty.
A ship incurs guilt by the violation of a blockade.
3.
Crime; offense.

Definition 2021


guilt

guilt

English

Noun

guilt (uncountable)

  1. Responsibility for wrongdoing.
  2. Awareness, feeling of having done wrong; remorse.
  3. The fact of having done wrong.
  4. (law) The state of having been found guilty or admitted guilt in legal proceedings.
Antonyms
Derived terms
Translations
See also

Etymology 2

From Middle English gilten, gylten, from Old English gyltan (to commit sin, be guilty), from gylt (guilt, sin, offense, crime, fault).

Verb

guilt (third-person singular simple present guilts, present participle guilting, simple past and past participle guilted)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To commit offenses; act criminally.
  2. (transitive) To cause someone to feel guilt, particularly in order to influence their behaviour.
    He didn't want to do it, but his wife guilted him into it.
    • 1988, John Bradshaw, Healing the shame that binds you,
      Shame based parents would have guilted him for expressing anger.
    • 1992, Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: how to stop controlling others and start caring for yourself,
      We don't have to be manipulated, guilted, coerced, or forced into anything.
    • 1995, Nora Roberts, True Betrayals,
      But I won't be threatened or bribed or guilted into giving up something that's important to me.