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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 them 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, no

plead not guilty (to something)

To formally deny that one is guilty (of some crime or accusation). The defendant pleaded not guilty, and he will go to trial where he will face the possibility of life in prison, or even death. My client pleads not guilty, your honor.
See also: guilty, not, plead

plead guilty (to something)

To formally admit and declare that one is guilty (of some crime or accusation). The defendant avoided a possible death sentence by pleading guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. My client pleads guilty, your honor.
See also: guilty, plead

feel guilty

To feel ashamed and remorseful about something. Thanks for being so nice about everything, but I still feel guilty about interrupting your date. I know Jen pretty well, and I think she feels guilty about upsetting you.
See also: feel, guilty

find (one) guilty

To determine and declare in court that one is guilty of a crime. How serious do you think the prison sentence will be if the jury finds him guilty?
See also: find, guilty

find (one) not guilty

To determine and declare in court that one is innocent of a crime. I don't know how the jury found him not guilty, considering all the evidence against him.
See also: find, guilty, not

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, no

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 ?
In other words, women felt guiltier than men, which shows that in this sample, this variable is relevant regarding consumer boycott motivations.
maintains, did the greater harm and are the guiltier party:
This is made yet more explicit when he insists that the fact that their love was mutual makes Juliet guiltier than Claudio: in his view, if a couple engages in premarital sex, the woman is more responsible than the man.
The rest of the insurance companies who were caught up in the crisis and suffered serious financial loss were no guiltier for the problem than any other corporate investor.
After all, the point of ideology--and the ideology of Gothic criticism appears guiltier than that of the literature itself--is not to offer a point of escape from reality, but to offer an explanation or interpretation as an escape from something more traumatic.
To get into who is the guiltier party and who has the "right" to take the law into their own hands will only push us further into this madness and into this chapter in Palestinian history that should never have been written.
Steyn was the guiltier man, with 16 of his first 36 balls before the break ignored because of wayward direction.
No one is completely innocent and some of the characters are guiltier than the reader thinks.
Although her sample was small, she found that adoptive parents do not report feeling more fearful, guiltier, less entitled, or less confident to be their child's parent, as a result of contact with the birth family.
If anything, they were, with the exception of Milwaukee and Atlanta-based reporters, guiltier of benign neglect until, of course, Aaron came within striking distance of the acme of sports records: Babe Ruth's 715 home runs.
Johnston is not about ramming jargon down our throats and riddling our eyes with objects intended to make us feel any guiltier than most of us already do.
It will make her feel guiltier when she fails to pay you back, but it won't get you the bucks.
If anything, she is guiltier than most current researchers in this field in presuming to know what women want.
The Gascon believed Fouquet was no guiltier than either of them and wanted nothing to do with the hypocrisy of his arrest.