From Anglo-Norman cul prit, contraction of Culpable: prest (d'averrer nostre bille) (“guilty, ready (to prove our case)”), words used by prosecutor in opening a trial, mistaken in English for an address to the defendant. See culpable.
culprit (plural culprits)
- The person or thing at fault for a problem or crime.
- I tightened the loose bolt that was the culprit; it should work now.
2012 June 9, Owen Phillips, “Euro 2012: Netherlands 0-1 Denmark”, BBC Sport:
- But the Dutch dominated only to waste numerous efforts, with Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie the main culprits.
- See also Wikisaurus:criminal