Definition of guilt noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɡɪlt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡɪlt//
    [uncountable] Unhappiness
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  1. 1guilt (about something) the unhappy feelings caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something wrong She had feelings of guilt about leaving her children and going to work. Many survivors were left with a sense of guilt. a guilt complex (= an exaggerated sense of guilt) See related entries: Unhappiness
  2. 2the fact that somebody has done something illegal His guilt was proved beyond all doubt by the prosecution. an admission of guilt opposite innocence
  3. 3blame or responsibility for doing something wrong or for something bad that has happened The investigation will try to find out where the guilt for the disaster really lies.
  4. Word OriginOld English gylt, of unknown origin.Extra examples He had no feelings of guilt over what he had done. I knew that the next day I would be consumed with guilt. I took his silence as an admission of guilt. It helped him bear the guilt he felt. It might be difficult to prove his guilt. Many of the accused would deny their guilt to the magistrates. She was trying to lay a guilt trip on me. Talking to her helped to assuage my guilt. There is no doubt as to where the guilt lies. These actions are merely intended to assuage white liberal guilt. They feel a sense of collective guilt for the Holocaust. You needn’t feel any guilt about me. the burden of guilt that she carried with her Do you think this statement amounts to an admission of guilt? It’s important to differentiate between a healthy conscience and a guilt complex. Many survivors were left with a sense of guilt.Idioms (informal) things you say to somebody in order to make them feel guilty about something Don't lay a guilt trip on your child about schoolwork.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: guilt