noun Etymology: Anglo-French cul. (abbreviation of culpable guilty) + prest, prit ready (i.e., to prove it), from Latin praestus — more at presto Date: 1678 1. one accused of or charged with a crime 2. one guilty of a crime or a fault 3. the source or cause of a problem

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • culprit — index convict, delinquent, embezzler, felon, malefactor Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Culprit — Cul prit (k[u^]l pr?t), n. [Prob. corrupted for culpate, fr. Law Latin culpatus the accused, p. p. of L. culpare to blame. See {Culpable}.] 1. One accused of, or arraigned for, a crime, as before a judge. [1913 Webster] An author is in the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • culprit — ► NOUN ▪ a person who is responsible for a crime or offence. ORIGIN originally in the judicial formula Culprit, how will you be tried?, perhaps from a misinterpretation of the written abbreviation cul. prist for Old French Culpable: prest d… …   English terms dictionary

  • culprit — (n.) 1670s, from Anglo Fr. cul prit, contraction of Culpable: prest (d averrer nostre bille) guilty, ready (to prove our case), words used by prosecutor in opening a trial. It seems the abbreviation cul. prit was mistaken in English for an… …   Etymology dictionary

  • culprit — *criminal, felon, convict, malefactor, delinquent Analogous words: *prisoner: offender, sinner (see corresponding nouns at OFFENSE): scoundrel, blackguard, miscreant, rogue, rascal (see VILLAIN) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • culprit — [n] person responsible for wrongdoing con, convict, criminal, delinquent, evildoer, ex con, felon, fugitive, guilty party, jailbird*, malefactor, miscreant, offender, rascal, sinner, transgressor, wrongdoer, yardbird*; concept 412 …   New thesaurus

  • culprit — [kul′prit] n. [< Anglo Fr cul. prit, contr. for phr. culpable, prit (a averer nostre bille), lit., guilty, ready (to prove our case): words used by prosecutor in opening case < culpable (see CULPABLE) + prit, for OFr prest < LL praestus …   English World dictionary

  • culprit — [[t]kʌ̱lprɪt[/t]] culprits 1) N COUNT: usu the N When you are talking about a crime or something wrong that has been done, you can refer to the person who did it as the culprit. All the men were being deported even though the real culprits in the …   English dictionary

  • culprit — noun (C) 1 the person who is guilty of a crime, or responsible for damage, a problem etc: Police finally managed to catch the culprit. 2 informal the reason for a particular problem or difficulty: the main culprit: High production costs are the… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • culprit — UK [ˈkʌlprɪt] / US noun [countable] Word forms culprit : singular culprit plural culprits 1) someone who is responsible for doing something bad or illegal Police have so far failed to find the culprits. 2) the cause of something bad happening The …   English dictionary

  • Culprit — A culprit, under English law properly the prisoner at the bar, is one accused of a crime. The term is used, generally, of one guilty of an offence. In origin the word is a combination of two Anglo French legal words, culpable: guilty, and prit or …   Wikipedia

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