Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: CRIME

Date: 1600-1700
Language: Anglo-French
Origin: cul (from culpable 'guilty') + prit 'ready (to prove it)'

culprit

noun
     
cul‧prit [countable]
1SCC the person who is guilty of a crime or doing something wrong [↪ victim]:
Police finally managed to catch the culprit.
2 informal the reason for a particular problem or difficulty:
High production costs are the main culprit.
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