Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To charge with a shortcoming or error.
  • intransitive verb To charge formally with a wrongdoing.
  • intransitive verb To make a charge of wrongdoing against another.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Accusation.
  • To make an imputation against, as of a crime, fault, or error; charge with guilt or blame; affect with specific censure: used either absolutely or with of before the thing charged, and sometimes with for before the subject of censure: as, to accuse one of high crimes, or as an accomplice in crime; to accuse nature for our misfortunes.
  • To indicate; evince; show; manifest; show signs of.
  • Synonyms Accuse, Charge, Indict, Arraign, Impeach, Incriminate, criminate, inculpate, tax with, taunt with, impute to. Of these words charge is the most general, and may be the weakest, being used of any sort of imputation, large or small, against persons or things formally or informally, publicly or privately. Accuse commonly, though not invariably, expresses something more formal and grave than charge. Indict is a purely legal term, restricted to the action of a grand jury when it makes a formal complaint against a supposed offender, in order that he may be brought to trial. Arraign has primarily the same meaning with indict, but is freer in figurative use: as, to arraign a political party at the bar of public sentiment. Impeach is to bring to answer before some legislative body for wrong-doing in a public office, and has been so long associated with the peculiar dignity, solemnity, and impressiveness of such trials that it has been lifted into corresponding importance in its figurative uses. Incriminate is obsolescent except in the special meaning of involving another with one's self: as, in his confession he incriminated several persons hitherto unsuspected. To charge with a fault; to accuse of dishonesty; to indict for felony and arraign before the court; to impeach a magistrate or one's motives or veracity; to incriminate others with one's self in a confession of guilt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Accusation.
  • transitive verb (Law) To charge with, or declare to have committed, a crime or offense.
  • transitive verb To charge with a fault; to blame; to censure.
  • transitive verb rare To betray; to show.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To find fault with, to blame, to censure.
  • verb transitive To charge with having committed a crime or offence.
  • verb intransitive To make an accusation against someone.
  • noun obsolete An accusation - Shakespeare

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb bring an accusation against; level a charge against
  • verb blame for, make a claim of wrongdoing or misbehavior against

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English acusen, from Latin accūsāre : ad-, ad- + causa, lawsuit.]

Examples

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