in·​dict in-ˈdīt How to pronounce indict (audio)
indicted; indicting; indicts

transitive verb

: to charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a jury (such as a grand jury) in due form of law
: to charge with a fault or offense : criticize, accuse
indicter noun
or indictor

Example Sentences

A grand jury is expected to indict him for murder. the grand jury could indict the mayor for fraud and embezzlement
Recent Examples on the Web The Israeli army closed the investigation and refused to indict those involved. Yonat Friling, Fox News, 15 Nov. 2022 Determined that state prosecutors erred in having a circuit judge act as a one-man grand jury to indict former state and city officials for their roles in the Flint water crisis. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 9 Nov. 2022 Eight months later, Paxton’s office brought the case before a grand jury and unsuccessfully tried to indict Icsezen for obstructing a poll watcher, records show. Cassandra Jaramillo, ProPublica, 6 Nov. 2022 The shooting had inflamed racial tensions in Euclid, a Cleveland suburb, and a grand jury declined to indict Rhodes after hearing evidence from prosecutors. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 3 Nov. 2022 Crooks said a grand jury will next convene to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to formally indict the four women on felony charges. Kim Bellware, Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2022 Just this August, a grand jury in Mississippi said there was insufficient evidence to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham on kidnapping and manslaughter charges. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 20 Oct. 2022 Police are requesting prosecutors indict all three as co-conspirators on a charge of obstruction of business, which could bring with it up to five years in jail or a fine of $13,000. Jake Kwon, CNN, 9 Oct. 2022 There's definitely enough here to potentially indict him. ABC News, 28 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indict.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


alteration of earlier indite, from Middle English inditen, from Anglo-French enditer to write, point out, indict — more at indite

First Known Use

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of indict was in 1531

Dictionary Entries Near indict

Cite this Entry

“Indict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


in·​dict in-ˈdīt How to pronounce indict (audio)
: to charge with an offense or crime : accuse

Legal Definition


transitive verb
in·​dict in-ˈdīt How to pronounce indict (audio)
: to charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a grand jury in due form of law compare accuse, arraign, charge

History and Etymology for indict

alteration of earlier indite, from Anglo-French enditer, from Old French, to write down, ultimately from Latin indicere to proclaim, from in- toward + dicere to say

More from Merriam-Webster on indict

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