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guilty pleasure

Something that one enjoys or finds pleasurable but knows or feels to be bad, inferior, aberrant, or lowbrow, especially as might be perceived or judged by other people. I know these gossip magazines are trashy, but reading them on my commute home is my guilty pleasure!
See also: guilty, pleasure

a guilty conscience needs no accuser

A feeling of guilt and remorse can be so strong that it will prompt an offender to confess, even if no one is requiring him or her to do so. Gary felt so guilty after taking the money out of Bill's wallet that he confessed and returned it a day later. A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
See also: conscience, guilty, needs

feel guilty (about something)

to feel that one is to blame for something; to feel intense regret for something that one has done. I feel guilty for forgetting about your birthday. You shouldn't feel guilty about the accident. It's not your fault.
See also: feel, guilty

find someone guilty

 and find someone innocent; find someone not guilty
to decide guilt or innocence and deliver a verdict in a court of law. The judge found the defendant not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury found the defendant innocent.
See also: find, guilty

A guilty conscience needs no accuser.

Prov. If you have done something wrong and feel guilty about it, you will be uncomfortable and want to confess even if no one accuses you of wrongdoing. Even though no one noticed him eating most of the cookies, Peter felt so bad about it that he told us what he had done. A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
See also: conscience, guilty, needs

plead guilty to something

to state that one is guilty of a crime before a court of law. Gerald refused to plead guilty to the crime and had to stand trial. Max pleaded guilty to the charge and then fled town.
See also: guilty, plead
References in periodicals archive ?
Its consumer is young and nutritionally aware, says Craig, some of whom may have a hangover and are guiltily seeking to make it up to their bodies.
But the most indefensible part of his charade of a performance this week, those slug-like eyebrows writhing guiltily as he spoke, was his decision to hike fuel duty.
Some parents reach the point where they guiltily admit that they sometimes wish their child would die before them, so they wouldn't have to worry.
The boys outwardly promise to take care of him, when inwardly, guiltily, they know he will be left on the sidelines until he makes his own friends.
I suppose I never gave him that reply because I guiltily thought that there is something inherently unreal, and thus by inference comic, about the business of dance, especially classical ballet.
For Nicko and Joe, bad movies are not something to be laughed at guiltily afterwards but talked at, openly mocked with a laser pointer and dissected by some of the top comics in Britain.
When Jack guiltily returns to New York for Jimmy's funeral 30 years later, he learns of Rudy, whose execution at Starke is drawing near.
This is a fast and guiltily fun read that is sure to appeal to readers clamoring for more to satisfy their chick-lit fix.
But I wonder whether the real charm of our electronic communication-both for him, and guiltily, for myself as well--is the extreme pleasure of nattering on endlessly without any of those pesky interruptions from the listener that so often characterize person-to-person conversation.
The architectural subject of Imperial Hotel, 2004, is painted so that its contours begin to melt into the surroundings, as if it were sweating guiltily in the island heat or collapsing into entropic diffusion.
The guiltily responsible personnel of the United Nations are far worse than those rats and fleas for two reasons: First, they have already caused mankind more suffering; and second, they know what they are doing, while the rats and fleas do not.
After guiltily throwing away a half used carton of soup last night, I woke up this morning to the headline that Britons discard 20 billion [pounds sterling] worth of food every year.
Recently, I became guiltily aware of how little time I spend with him and that I was not returning his overt displays of affection.
However, they were guiltily singing La Marseillaise at Cantor and IG, where much of the patriotic money had gone.
Arnold admits all this (and he guiltily recalls the time when, contrary to his usual custom, he killed a brown trout--as his bewildered 12-year-old son looked on).