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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 ?
The guiltiness of individual persons normally is judged in degrees, as is the innocence of individual persons.
If it confess/ A natural guiltiness, such as is his,/ Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue/ Against my brother's life" (2.
Moreover, in a passage we cited earlier, Angelo suggests that the duke might legitimately claim a similar position for himself: "O my dread lord, / I should be guiltier than my guiltiness, / To think I can be undiscernible, / When I perceive your Grace, like pow'r divine, / Hath look'd upon my passes" (5.
Where I come from you do not need to call the whole family to testify to a kid's guiltiness when you suspect the kid of stealing groundnuts.
Stressing Riley's impotence and resignation before racial injustice, the movie once again stages the guiltiness of white masculinity only to reassert its superiority: it is in pointed contrast to both Riley and Phan that De Palma's Eriksson courageously pursues his court-martial, showing that he, if not they, has the balls to "buck the system.
Nevertheless the assertiveness can be described such that the individual can express the positive and negative feeling, idea and desires and other's rights without ignoring and about this matter without hearing anxiety and guiltiness [5].
In an interview with CNN TV channel, Davutoglu said that Israel's rejection of an international committee indicated their guiltiness.
4 102-4) or a broken Hero whose "blush [was] guiltiness, not modesty" (Much Ado About Nothing 4.
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed, Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
B], whom she so well loved, leave her dear baby, and try a new fortune, in a new world, among quite strangers, and hazard the seas; and all to preserve herself from further guiltiness.
Oscar Martiarena, Guiltiness, Resistance, and Autonomy: Reply to Guillermo Hurtado
For as the one ship that held them all: though it was put together of all contrasting things--oak, and maple, and pine wood; iron, and pitch, and hemp--yet all these ran into one another in the one concrete hull, which shot on its way, both balanced and directed by the long central keel; even so, all the individualities of the crew, this man's valor, that man's fear; guilt and guiltiness, all varieties were welded into oneness, and were directed to that fatal goal which Ahab their one lord and keel did point to.
Perhaps a more accurate description would be: an increase in the severity of sentence, which is unconnected to guiltiness or any other justifiable basis for increasing the severity of punishment.
In their attacks on this righteous deed, the Presbyterians "cannot with all thir shifting and relapsing, wash off the guiltiness from thir own hands.
Jackson tries to redeem the heroine by demonstrating her less than passive nature, her guiltiness, so that in an ethical economy, it is "right" that she ask for forgiveness.