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Definition someone responsible for a wrongdoing — especially a criminal

More rarely culprit can reference anything identified as the cause of a problem — such as a defective part that broke a machine.
  • We will find and punish the culprit.
culprit = someone responsible for a wrongdoing — especially a criminal
  • Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid nocturnal events: people's chickens and household pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Barker's Eddy, people still looked at the Radley Place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • culprit = person responsible for wrongdoing
  • The culprit must have known it was only a matter of time before I caught him.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • culprit = person responsible for wrongdoing
  • Who are the culprits?
    Roald Dahl  --  Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
  • culprits = people responsible for a wrongdoing
  • Have you caught the culprit?
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • I am hopeful that this dreadful year will end with our catching the culprit.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • The culprit has been taken away —
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • And if the culprit wasn't caught soon, he was looking at a lifetime back with the Dursleys.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • It is likely that the school will be closed unless the culprit behind these attacks is caught.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • But if you will only have the patience to listen to my tale, you shall know who is the real culprit.
    Andrew Lang  --  The Arabian Nights
  • The culprits flung themselves prone, in an ecstasy of gratitude, and kissed his feet, declaring that they would never forget his goodness and never cease to pray for him as long as they lived.
    Mark Twain  --  Pudd'n'head Wilson
  • I wished to say something in my own justification; but in attempting to speak, I felt my voice falter; and rather than testify any emotion, or suffer the tears to overflow that were already gathering in my eyes, I chose to keep silence, and bear all like a self-convicted culprit.
    Anne Bronte  --  Agnes Grey
  • they say that the culprit is an infamous scoundrel, who killed with a log of wood a worthy canon who had brought him up like his own son.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • He recognised Justin climbing over the wall, and at last knew who was the culprit who stole his potatoes.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • I'm glad waterboarding isn't allowed in the blind, because ol' Phil would have filled our faces with water to find the culprit.
    Willie & Korie Robertson  --  The Duck Commander Family
  • A plunger revealed the culprit—a sanitary napkin, become quite unsanitary by that time.
    Ellen Hopkins  --  Burned
  • My eyes had spoken, I knew, until I had found the culprits out and silenced them.
    Jack London  --  Sea Wolf
  • And he, himself a rabbi now, he had held the culprit's legs while the straps sank into the white buttocks.
    Henry Roth  --  Call It Sleep
  • They demanded a culprit — and Catherine O'Leary was the handiest target in sight.
    Jim Murphy  --  The Great Fire
  • Hagrid gave a howl of fury, lifted the culprit bodily from the ground and threw him; the man flew what looked like ten feet and did not get up again.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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