Definition of CULPABILITY


Culpability is a noun that refers to the degree of responsibility or blameworthiness for an act or wrongdoing, especially in legal or moral contexts. It encompasses several key aspects:

Degree of Responsibility: Culpability measures the extent to which an individual can be held responsible or accountable for their actions, considering factors such as intent, knowledge, foresight, and control over the circumstances leading to the wrongdoing.

Legal and Moral Considerations: Culpability is relevant in both legal and moral contexts, where it influences decisions regarding liability, punishment, restitution, or moral judgment. It may vary depending on the specific circumstances and legal standards applicable to the case.

Mitigating and Aggravating Factors: Assessing culpability involves considering mitigating factors that may reduce the level of blame or aggravating factors that may increase it. These factors may include mental capacity, coercion, provocation, prior history, or efforts to mitigate harm.

Fairness and Justice: Determining culpability aims to achieve fairness and justice by holding individuals accountable for their actions in a manner that reflects their degree of moral agency and responsibility. It ensures that consequences are proportionate to the level of blameworthiness.

In summary, culpability refers to the degree of responsibility or blameworthiness for an act or wrongdoing, considering factors such as intent, knowledge, control, and the presence of mitigating or aggravating circumstances, and it informs decisions regarding legal liability, punishment, and moral judgment.

Examples of CULPABILITY in a sentence

  • Culpability refers to the state of being responsible or deserving blame for wrongdoing or a fault.
  • In criminal law, proving culpability is essential for establishing guilt and assigning appropriate punishment.
  • The investigation aimed to determine the extent of the company’s culpability in the environmental contamination.
  • Legal proceedings often hinge on establishing culpability through evidence and testimony.
  • Ethical codes and professional standards hold individuals accountable for their actions, emphasizing personal culpability.
  • Society debates the level of culpability for individuals involved in systemic injustices or societal harms.
  • Understanding one’s own culpability in a situation is crucial for personal growth and accountability.
  • The concept of shared culpability acknowledges collective responsibility for addressing social and environmental challenges.

Etymology of CULPABILITY

The term culpability comes from the Latin word “culpa,” meaning “fault” or “blame,” and the suffix “-bility,” indicating the capacity or quality of being. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Culpa (Latin): Latin term for “fault” or “blame.”
  • -Bility (English): Suffix indicating the capacity or quality of being.

Therefore, culpability refers to the degree or extent of responsibility, blame, or fault associated with a particular action or behavior. It emphasizes the capacity or quality of being at fault or responsible for a wrongdoing. The term is often used in legal contexts to assess the level of accountability or liability of individuals for their actions or omissions


  • Blameworthiness
  • Guilt
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Fault
  • Liability
  • Guiltiness
  • Blame


  • Innocence
  • Absolution
  • Exoneration
  • Acquittal
  • Purity
  • Righteousness
  • Virtue
  • Justification


  • Blame
  • Fault
  • Responsibility
  • Guilt
  • Accountability
  • Liability
  • Blameworthiness
  • Accusation

🌐 🇬🇧 CULPABILITY in other languages

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