•caret • Sanskrit • Prakrit
, inherit, merit
•egret • secret
, skirret, spirit
•floret • pomfret • bowsprit
•culprit • floweret • Margaret
•hypocrite • preterite (US
, facet, tacet, tacit
•exit • resit
, elicit, explicit, illicit, implicit, licit, solicit
•Tilsit • plebiscite • babysit • deficit
•Quonset • whatsit
, Dorset, faucet
•ashet • planchet • bullshit • Bastet
•tomtit • bluetit
in the formula ‘Culprit, how will you be tried?’, formerly said by the Clerk of the Crown to a prisoner who pleaded Not Guilty; the accused XVII; (by assoc. with L. culpa
guilt) offender XVIII. According to legal tradition, compounded of cul
, short for AN. culpable
guilty (cf. prec.), and pri(s)t
( = OF. prest
, F. prêt
) ready; it is supposed that, when the prisoner had pleaded Not Guilty, the Clerk replied with Culpable: prest daverrer notre bille
, i.e. ‘Guilty: ready to aver our indictment’, and that this was noted in the form cul. prist
An individual who has been formally charged with a criminal offense but who has not yet been tried and convicted.
Culprit is a colloquial rather than a legal term and is commonly applied to someone who is guilty of a minor degree of moral reprehensibility. According to sir william blackstone, the term is most likely a derivative of the archaic mode of arraignment during which upon a prisoner's plea of not guilty the cleric would say culpabilis prit, meaning "he is guilty and the crown is ready." The more common derivation is from culpa, meaning "fault or blame."
/ ˈkəlprət; ˈkəlˌprit/
a person who is responsible for a crime or other misdeed.
the cause of a problem or defect.