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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for accuse in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


First attested around 1300. From Middle English acusen, from Old French acuser, from Latin accūsō (to call to account, accuse), from ad (to) + causa (cause, lawsuit, reason). Akin to cause.



accuse (third-person singular simple present accuses, present participle accusing, simple past and past participle accused)

  1. (transitive) to find fault with, blame, censure
    • (Can we date this quote by Bible and provide title, author's full name, and other details?) Epistle to the Romans 2:15,
      Their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.
    • {{rfdatek|Thomas Babington Macaulay]]
      We are accused of having persuaded Austria and Sardinia to lay down their arms.
  2. (transitive, law) to charge with having committed a crime or offence
    • (Can we date this quote by Bible and provide title, author's full name, and other details?) Acts of the Apostles 24:13,
      Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
    For the U.S. President to be impeached, he must be accused of a high crime or misdemeanor.
    Synonyms: charge, indict, impeach, arraign
  3. (intransitive) to make an accusation against someone
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      According to this saga of intellectual-property misanthropy, these creatures [patent trolls] roam the business world, buying up patents and then using them to demand extravagant payouts from companies they accuse of infringing them. Often, their victims pay up rather than face the costs of a legal battle.
    Synonyms: blame, censure, reproach, criminate

Usage notesEdit

  • (legal): When used this way accused is followed by the word of.
  • Synonym notes: To accuse, charge, impeach, arraign: these words agree in bringing home to a person the imputation of wrongdoing.
    • To accuse is a somewhat formal act, and is applied usually (though not exclusively) to crimes; as, to accuse of treason.
    • Charge is the most generic. It may refer to a crime, a dereliction of duty, a fault, etc.; more commonly it refers to moral delinquencies; as, to charge with dishonesty or falsehood.
    • To arraign is to bring (a person) before a tribunal for trial; as, to arraign one before a court or at the bar public opinion.
    • To impeach is officially to charge with misbehavior in office; as, to impeach a minister of high crimes.
    • Both impeach and arraign convey the idea of peculiar dignity or impressiveness.

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


accuse (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Accusation.
    • c. 1596–1599, Shakespeare, William, Henry IV, Part 2, act 3, scene 1, lines 158–160:
      And dogged York, that reaches at the moon, / Whose overweening arm I have plucked back, / By false accuse doth level at my life.

Further readingEdit





accuse f

  1. plural of accusa




  1. first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of accusar
  2. third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of accusar
  3. third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of accusar
  4. third-person singular (você) negative imperative of accusar