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.     common law
2.     stare decisis
3.     AORO
4.     culpability
5.     Miranda warning
6.     ratio decidendi
7.     precedent
8.     adjudication order
9.     appellant
10.     infanticide