Top 31 Slang For Guilt – Meaning & Usage

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1. Remorse

Remorse is a strong feeling of regret or guilt for a past action or decision. It is often accompanied by a sense of responsibility and a desire to make amends.

  • For example, “He felt overwhelming remorse after betraying his friend.”
  • A person might express remorse by saying, “I deeply regret my actions and the pain I have caused.”
  • In a discussion about forgiveness, someone might ask, “How can one find closure and move on from feelings of remorse?”

2. Shame

Shame is a powerful emotion that arises from a sense of wrongdoing or embarrassment. It can be self-imposed or induced by others, and often leads to a desire to hide or avoid further judgment.

  • For instance, “She felt a deep sense of shame for lying to her parents.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t bear the shame of facing my mistakes.”
  • In a discussion about moral values, someone might argue, “Shame can be a powerful motivator for personal growth and change.”

3. Regret

Regret is a feeling of sadness or disappointment over something that has happened or been done. It often involves a sense of wishing that a different choice or action had been taken.

  • For example, “He regretted not studying harder for the exam.”
  • A person might express regret by saying, “I wish I hadn’t said those hurtful words.”
  • In a discussion about life choices, someone might reflect, “Regret can serve as a valuable lesson for future decision-making.”

4. Conscience

Conscience refers to an inner sense of right and wrong that guides a person’s behavior and decision-making. It is often associated with feelings of guilt or moral responsibility.

  • For instance, “His conscience wouldn’t allow him to cheat on the test.”
  • A person might say, “My conscience is clear because I did the right thing.”
  • In a discussion about ethical dilemmas, someone might ask, “How does one’s conscience influence their choices?”

5. Penitence

Penitence is a state of feeling or showing sorrow and regret for having done wrong. It often involves a desire to make amends or seek forgiveness.

  • For example, “She walked into the room with a penitent expression on her face.”
  • A person might express penitence by saying, “I am truly sorry for the pain I have caused and will do whatever it takes to make it right.”
  • In a discussion about forgiveness, someone might argue, “True penitence requires sincere remorse and a commitment to change.”

6. Contrition

Contrition refers to the feeling of remorse or guilt for one’s wrongdoing. It is the sincere and deep regret for past actions or behaviors.

  • For example, a person might say, “I felt a strong sense of contrition after realizing the pain I caused.”
  • In a conversation about personal growth, someone might reflect, “Contrition is the first step towards making amends and becoming a better person.”
  • A religious leader might emphasize, “True contrition involves not just feeling guilty, but also taking actions to make things right.”

7. Self-reproach

Self-reproach is the act of blaming oneself or feeling guilty for something one has done. It is a form of self-criticism and often involves negative self-talk.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I couldn’t help but feel a sense of self-reproach for not speaking up when I had the chance.”
  • In a therapy session, a client might express, “I struggle with constant self-reproach, always thinking I’m to blame for everything.”
  • A self-help book might offer advice on overcoming self-reproach, stating, “Learning to forgive oneself is crucial in letting go of self-blame.”

8. Compunction

Compunction refers to a feeling of guilt or regret for one’s actions or behaviors. It is a moral unease or hesitation before or after doing something wrong.

  • For example, someone might say, “I had no compunction about lying to protect my friend.”
  • In a discussion about ethical dilemmas, a person might argue, “A person with a strong sense of compunction is more likely to make morally sound decisions.”
  • A character in a novel might be described as having “no compunction about resorting to violence to achieve their goals.”
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9. Sorrow

Sorrow is a deep feeling of sadness or regret, often associated with loss or disappointment. It is a state of emotional distress and can be a result of guilt or remorse.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I felt a profound sense of sorrow after realizing the impact of my actions.”
  • In a conversation about grief, a person might share, “Sorrow can be overwhelming, especially when it’s accompanied by guilt.”
  • A poet might describe sorrow as “an ever-present companion,“an ever-present companion, lingering in the shadows of remorse.”

10. Guilt trip

Guilt trip refers to a form of emotional manipulation in which a person tries to make someone else feel guilty for their actions or decisions. It involves using guilt as a tool to control or influence.

  • For example, someone might say, “My mom always guilt trips me into doing things I don’t want to do.”
  • In a discussion about toxic relationships, a person might share, “Guilt trips are a common tactic used by manipulative individuals.”
  • A self-help article might offer advice on dealing with guilt trips, stating, “Setting boundaries and recognizing manipulative behavior is key in breaking free from guilt trips.”

11. Atone

To make up for a wrongdoing or mistake by taking action to correct it or make it right. “Atone” often implies a sense of remorse or guilt for one’s actions.

  • For example, someone might say, “I need to atone for my past mistakes by volunteering and helping others.”
  • In a discussion about personal growth, one might mention, “It’s important to atone for our past actions and learn from them.”
  • A person reflecting on their behavior might say, “I’m trying to atone for the hurt I caused by being more mindful of my words and actions.”

12. Blame

To assign responsibility or fault for a mistake, wrongdoing, or negative outcome. “Blame” can also be used as a noun to refer to the act of assigning responsibility.

  • For instance, someone might say, “Don’t blame me for your own mistakes.”
  • In a discussion about a failed project, one might say, “We can’t place all the blame on one person. It was a collective effort.”
  • A person defending themselves might argue, “Stop trying to shift the blame onto others. Take responsibility for your own actions.”

13. Repentance

The act of feeling deep regret or remorse for one’s past actions or behaviors. “Repentance” often involves a sincere desire to change or make amends for one’s wrongdoings.

  • For example, someone might say, “He showed true repentance for his crimes by dedicating his life to helping others.”
  • In a religious context, one might say, “Repentance is an important aspect of seeking forgiveness.”
  • A person reflecting on their past might say, “I’ve come to realize the importance of repentance and making things right.”

14. Apology

A formal or informal expression of regret or remorse for one’s actions or words, often accompanied by an acknowledgment of responsibility. An apology is a way to express guilt and seek forgiveness.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I owe you an apology for my thoughtless comment.”
  • In a discussion about conflict resolution, one might mention, “A sincere apology can go a long way in repairing relationships.”
  • A person acknowledging their mistake might say, “I need to offer a genuine apology and make things right.”

15. Rue

To feel deep regret or remorse for something, often accompanied by a sense of sadness or sorrow. “Rue” can also refer to the act of expressing or showing regret.

  • For example, someone might say, “I rue the day I made that decision.”
  • In a discussion about missed opportunities, one might say, “I still rue not taking that job offer.”
  • A person reflecting on their past actions might say, “I deeply rue the hurt I caused and wish I could go back and change things.”

16. Lament

Lament is a word that describes the act of expressing sorrow or regret over something. It is often used to express deep sadness or grief.

  • For example, “She lamented over the loss of her loved one.”
  • In a discussion about past mistakes, someone might say, “I still lament the choices I made in my youth.”
  • A person might express their lament by saying, “I lament the missed opportunities in my career.”

17. Penance

Penance refers to an act of self-punishment or repentance as a way to make amends for a wrongdoing. It often involves a form of punishment or sacrifice to show remorse.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I did penance for my sins by fasting for a week.”
  • In a religious context, someone might seek penance by confessing their sins to a priest and performing certain rituals.
  • A person might say, “I’m doing penance for my mistakes by volunteering at a charity.”

18. Ruefulness

When someone feels or expresses regret over something, they can be described as feeling ruefulness. It is a state of being remorseful or full of sorrow for something that has happened.

  • For example, a person might say, “I looked back on my actions with ruefulness.”
  • In a conversation about missed opportunities, someone might express their ruefulness by saying, “I feel a deep sense of ruefulness for not taking that job offer.”
  • A person might express their ruefulness by saying, “I can’t help but feel rueful about the way things turned out.”

19. Self-condemnation

Self-condemnation is the act of blaming oneself for a wrongdoing or mistake. It involves holding oneself responsible and feeling guilty or ashamed of one’s actions.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I’m filled with self-condemnation for the way I treated my friend.”
  • In a therapy session, someone might express their self-condemnation by saying, “I constantly berate myself with self-condemnation.”
  • A person might express their self-condemnation by saying, “I can’t forgive myself for what I’ve done.”

20. Misgiving

Misgiving refers to a feeling of doubt or apprehension about something. It often involves a sense of unease or uncertainty about a decision or action.

  • For example, a person might say, “I have misgivings about accepting that job offer.”
  • In a discussion about a risky venture, someone might express their misgivings by saying, “I have serious misgivings about investing in that company.”
  • A person might express their misgivings by saying, “I can’t shake off this feeling of misgiving about the situation.”

21. Chagrin

“I felt a sense of chagrin when I realized I had forgotten my best friend’s birthday.”

  • “His chagrin was evident when he failed the exam he had studied so hard for.”
  • “She couldn’t hide her chagrin when she saw her ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend.”
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22. Conscience-stricken

“He was conscience-stricken after lying to his parents about his whereabouts.”

  • “She became conscience-stricken when she realized she had hurt her friend’s feelings.”
  • “The thief was conscience-stricken after stealing from the charity.”

23. Blame game

“Instead of finding a solution, they engaged in a blame game, pointing fingers at each other.”

  • “The blame game only leads to more conflict and resentment.”
  • “The company’s culture encourages a blame game rather than promoting accountability.”

24. Regretful

“He was regretful for not taking the job offer when he had the chance.”

  • “She felt regretful for not speaking up when she witnessed the injustice.”
  • “I am regretful for the way I treated you,“I am regretful for the way I treated you, and I want to make it right.”

25. Apologetic

“He was apologetic for his behavior at the party and promised to make amends.”

  • “She sent an apologetic email to her boss after missing an important deadline.”
  • “The customer service representative was apologetic for the inconvenience caused by the delayed delivery.”

26. Rueful

Feeling or showing regret or remorse. “Rueful” is a word that describes the emotion of guilt or sorrow for something that has been done or said.

  • For example, a person might say, “I felt rueful after realizing the impact of my words.”
  • In a story, a character might have a rueful expression on their face, indicating their remorse.
  • A friend might console someone by saying, “Don’t be too rueful about it. We all make mistakes.”

27. Penitent

Feeling or expressing remorse or regret for one’s wrongdoing. “Penitent” is a word used to describe someone who feels guilty and is willing to make amends or seek forgiveness.

  • For instance, a person might say, “He appeared penitent as he apologized for his actions.”
  • In a religious context, a penitent might seek forgiveness through acts of repentance.
  • Someone might describe themselves as penitent when reflecting on their past mistakes.
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28. Compunctious

Feeling remorse or guilt. “Compunctious” is an adjective that describes the feeling of guilt or regret for one’s actions.

  • For example, a person might say, “I couldn’t help but feel compunctious after realizing the consequences of my choices.”
  • In a discussion about moral dilemmas, someone might argue that a compunctious person would make different decisions.
  • A character in a novel might have a compunctious expression on their face, indicating their inner turmoil.

29. Sorry

Feeling regret, remorse, or guilt for something done or said. “Sorry” is a common word used to express guilt or remorse for one’s actions.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I’m sorry for my mistake. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
  • In a conversation, someone might say, “I’m really sorry for what I said. I didn’t think before speaking.”
  • A person might write a heartfelt apology letter, starting with “I’m sorry for my actions.”

30. Conscience-smitten

Feeling overwhelmed with guilt or remorse. “Conscience-smitten” is a phrase used to describe someone who is deeply affected by their guilt or remorse.

  • For example, a person might say, “She was conscience-smitten after realizing the impact of her actions.”
  • In a discussion about moral responsibility, someone might argue that a conscience-smitten person would be more likely to change their behavior.
  • A character in a movie might have a conscience-smitten expression on their face, indicating their inner turmoil.

31. Reproachful

This term describes a feeling or expression of disapproval or criticism towards someone’s actions or behavior. It implies a sense of guilt or shame for the person being reproachful.

  • For example, if someone makes a mistake and their friend gives them a reproachful look, it means they are expressing their disapproval.
  • In a parent-child relationship, a parent might use a reproachful tone to communicate their disappointment in their child’s actions.
  • A teacher might give a reproachful comment on a student’s paper if they see plagiarism or poor effort.