guilty

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Related to guiltiest: be guilty of
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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

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

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

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

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

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 ?
Middle-aged Frank writes his grief: He is compelled to reckon with how adolescent Frank experienced his mother's death as he hits "that guiltiest, most vulnerable age, older-than-you."
Marco Stiepermann was the guiltiest party, twice firing straight at Joe Lumley.
MOST CUNNING The people of East Anglia are the guiltiest of using the promise of good Christmas presents as a method of getting their kids to behave - with over a quarter (27%) admitting to this.
The singer admitted his favourite word was "cake" and his guiltiest pleasure "sugar, however it comes".
After 14 years I am still trying to quit" - Actress Sofie Grabol on her guiltiest pleasure.
After 14 years, I am still trying to quit" - Actress Sofie Grabol on her guiltiest pleasure.
Councils' uncollected taxes and revenue reserves are Pickles' winter perennials - a reassuring sign of approaching spring - and, as noted in Graeme Brown's interview with him in last week's Post, league tables of the supposedly guiltiest councils were duly published posted by the Communities and Local Government department last Tuesday.
And contrary to public perception, he said, the amendments were not intended to picture Napoles as not the guiltiest and use her as a state witness.
One scene of extreme - and I hasten to add, fictional - animal cruelty prompted the guiltiest of guffaws at one point.
And where it really mattered, in front of Hart, sloppy, shoddy, basic defensive errors cost England again, Chris Smalling the guiltiest of the culpable men this time round as he lost Mertesacker (right) twice in a minute, properly punished the second time.
My real, real guilty pleasure--the guiltiest of guilty pleasures--is The Real Housewives, and New Jersey in particular.
TAKE ME OUT ITV, 8.05pm As guilty pleasures go, this one must be up there among the guiltiest - and the most pleasurable.
In the ICM poll for mobile services provider Gradwell, staff in their 50s and 60s were the guiltiest for answering the phone on the loo or in other inappropriate places - particularly men.
Still, best to enjoy this guiltiest of pleasures before they whittle down all the weirdos and we're just left with the decent performers because then you're left with far less to laugh at.