Someone guilty has done something wrong or illegal. And when you do something wrong, you feel guilty — bad or sorry — about it.

The police are responsible for finding out who’s guilty of a crime so they can be arrested, convicted, and punished. But you can also be guilty of smaller, more legal things, like cheating on a test, breaking the rules of a game, or thinking awful things. If you’ve done it, then you’re guilty of it: so if someone asks if you have a crush on your swim instructor, you can say “guilty!”

Definitions of guilty

adj responsible for or chargeable with a reprehensible act

guilty of murder”
“the guilty person”
“secret guilty deeds”
inculpative, inculpatory
causing blame to be imputed to
at fault
deserving blame
blamable, blameable, blameful, blameworthy, censurable, culpable
deserving blame or censure as being wrong or evil or injurious
guilty of murder or bloodshed
chargeable, indictable
liable to be accused, or cause for such liability
affected by conscience
guilty of crime or serious offense
guilty of a misdeed
finable, fineable
liable to a fine
feeling or revealing a sense of guilt
liable to or deserving punishment
in the act of committing a crime or other reprehensible act
not righteous
clean-handed, guiltless, innocent
free from evil or guilt
clearing of guilt or blame
absolved, clear, cleared, exculpated, exonerated, vindicated
freed from any question of guilt
acquitted, not guilty
declared not guilty of a specific offense or crime; legally blameless
blameless, inculpable, irreproachable, unimpeachable
free of guilt; not subject to blame
characterized by or proceeding from accepted standards of morality or justice
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adj showing a sense of guilt

“a guilty look”
hangdog, shamed, shamefaced
feeling shame or guilt or embarrassment or remorse

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