Meaning of “blame” in the English Dictionary

"blame" in British English

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blameverb [ T ]

uk /bleɪm/ us /bleɪm/

B1 to say or think that someone or something did something wrong or is responsible for something bad happening:

Don't blame me (= it is not my fault) if you miss the bus!
Hugh blames his mother for his lack of confidence.
Hugh blames his lack of confidence on his mother.
I don't blame sb

C2 said in order to tell someone that you understand why they are doing something and that you agree with the reason for doing it:

I don't blame him for getting angry - she's being really annoying.
"I decided to leave." "I don't blame you!"
be to blame

C1 to be the reason for something that happens:

The hot weather is partly to blame for the water shortage.

More examples

  • It's tempting to blame television for the increase in crime.
  • They blamed their defeat on the media's one-sided reporting of the election campaign.
  • She blamed me for practically every mistake in the report.
  • Human error has been blamed for the air crash.
  • Anything that goes wrong in the office is blamed on Pete.

blamenoun [ U ]

uk /bleɪm/ us /bleɪm/

B2 the situation in which people say or think that someone or something did something wrong or is responsible for something bad happening:

Health officials put the blame for the disease on (= say that the reason for the disease is) poor housing conditions.
They tried to pin (= put) the blame for the killing on an innocent army officer.
We want to find out what happened, not to apportion blame (= to say someone or something was wrong).
take the blame

If you take the blame for something, you say that you did it or that it is your fault:

If anything goes wrong, I'll take the blame.

More examples

  • It is not the job of the investigating committee to allocate blame for the disaster.
  • The report assigned the blame for the accident to inadequate safety regulations.
  • She can't accept she made a mistake and now she's trying to lay the blame on her assistant.
  • I accept my portion of the blame.
  • Teachers cannot be expected to shoulder all the blame for poor exam results.

(Definition of “blame” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"blame" in American English

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blameverb [ T ]

us /bleɪm/

to make someone or something responsible for something:

You can’t blame the government for all your troubles.
you don’t blame someone

If you don’t blame someone for something, you understand and accept that person's reasons for it:

I don't blame her for not supporting the final budget agreement.
noun [ U ] us /bleɪm/

He put the blame on everyone but himself.

(Definition of “blame” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)