Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of accuse


  1. to charge with a fault or crime (often foll. by of)

Definition of accuse


    < Middle English < Old French acuser, French accuser < Latin accusare ("to call to account, accuse") < ad ("to") + causa ("cause, reason, account, lawsuit"). Compare cause.


  • IPA: /əˈkjuːz/, SAMPA: /@"kju:z/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Rhymes: -uːz


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

  1. (transitive) To find fault with, to blame, to censure.

    * Epistle to the Romans 2:15,
    Their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.

    * Thomas Babington Macaulay,
    We are accused of having persuaded Austria and Sardinia to lay down their arms.
  2. (transitive) To charge with having committed a crime or offence.

    For the U.S. President to be impeached, he must be accused of a high crime or misdemeanor.

    * Acts of the Apostles 24:13,
    Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.

Usage 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 terms

  • accusable
  • accusation
  • accusative
  • accusatory
  • accuser


accuse (plural accuses)

  1. (obsolete) An accusation - Shakespeare

External links

  • accuse in Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • accuse in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • accuse at OneLook Dictionary Search


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

Translation of accuse in Malay

[1] Tuduh [2] Dakwa

  1. tuduh
  2. dakwa


1.     lex causae
2.     lex situs
3.     lex loci celebrationis
4.     scienter
5.     lex domicilii
6.     AORO
7.     quorum
8.     adjudication order
9.     lex patriae
10.     Miranda warning