The Meaning of Indicted: What It Is and How To Use It

If someone gets indicted, what does that mean? How is “indict” used in and out of the law? This article will tell you the meaning of indicted.

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Indict is a word that can be used in and out of the courtroom. You might have heard it on a show about the law, or you might hear it in every day conversation. This article will teach you all about the word indict and how to use it.

What Does the Word Indicted Mean?

According to The Free Dictionary and Find Law, the word indicted is the past tense of the verb indict. Indict is a verb which means to charge with or to accuse of something like wrongdoing. This term is used specifically in law to refer to a formal accusation of a serious crime or criminal accusation, and indictments are filed after an investigation by a grand jury.

If someone has been indicted with a felony by a prosecutor and grand jury, they will need a criminal defense attorney. The process of the indictment can vary from place to place. After the prosecution and jurors gather enough evidence for a grand jury indictment, there will be an arrest. Next, the court might have preliminary hearings. During this time, the indicted might seek legal counsel.

If a person is accused of an indictable offence or other serious criminal offence, they might be considered a public danger and held in prison until their trial. In this case, they might be able to get out on bail. This varies in felony cases. These formal charges of criminal cases will then be decided by a jury trial to determine if the claim of wrongdoing or misbehavior is valid or not. 

Finally, in the United States, after a conviction in which a judge finds a person guilty, there is sentencing in which someone receives their punishment.

Someone who is indicted is called an indictee, and someone who is indicted is called an indicter. These words use the suffixes –ee and –er. The word indict is two syllables (in-dict), and the pronunciation of indict is ɪnˈdaɪt.

What Is the Origin of the Word Indicted?

The word indict has been used since the Middle English indite and endict. This comes from the Anglo-French enditer and Old French enditier or enditer, which means to dictate or compose. These come from the Medieval Latin and Vulgar Latin indictare, meaning to declare, which has Proto-Indo-European roots.

How Can Indicted Be Used in a Sentence?

The word indict can be used in law and in casual speech. However, this word is most often associated with a courtroom and the process of law. Below, you can learn some ways in which the word indict can be used in a sentence in different verb forms and parts of speech:

The person was finally indicted for the infamous crime, with over twenty counts of fraud. It was the highest amount the district attorney had ever seen, and the police officer who caught him was celebrated.

The felony indictments varied over different jurisdictions, so the man got away with the criminal complaint on a technicality.

There was an indictment of a grand jury on the person who ran the naval forces in the militia during the time of war.

What Are Translations of Indict?

Indictments don’t only happen in English-speaking countries. Study this list of translations to learn how to use the word indict with your non-English speaking friends.

  • Urdu: جھوٹ
  • Tamil: குற்றச்சாட்டு
  • Thai: ฟ้อง
  • Indonesian: mendakwa
  • Polish: oskarżać
  • German: anklagen
  • Korean: 기소하다
  • Swahili: Akili
  • Dutch: aankleden
  • Hungarian: vádol
  • Italian: Indict
  • Gujarati: આરોપ મૂકવો
  • Ukrainian: обвинувачувати
  • Spanish: procesar
  • Bulgarian: подразбиране
  • Malayalam: കുറ്റപ്പെടുത്തുക
  • Slovak: uznať
  • Hebrew: לְהַאֲשִׁים
  • Serbian: оптужити
  • Chinese (PRC): 申请
  • Turkish: iddia etmek
  • Swedish: åtala
  • Basque: gaitzetsi
  • Icelandic: ákærður
  • Welsh: ditiet
  • Norwegian: indikerte det
  • Marathi: आरोप
  • Greek: ενάγω
  • Amharic: ጠቁሟል
  • Kannada: ತಿಳಿಸು
  • Danish: anklage
  • Slovenian: obtožiti
  • French: accuser
  • Latvian: apsūdzēt
  • Croatian: optužiti
  • Estonian: süüdistama
  • Portuguese (Portugal): acusar
  • Lithuanian: kaltintojas
  • Vietnamese: truy tố
  • Romanian: Indicați
  • Hindi: दोषी ठहराने
  • Japanese: ind
  • Catalan: acusar
  • Czech: obvinit
  • Malay: duga
  • Finnish: syyttää
  • Telugu: నేరారోపణ
  • Portuguese (Brazil): acusar
  • Bengali: অভিযুক্ত
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 申請

What Are Synonyms of the Word Indicted?

If you are trying to use a word for an accusation or indictment that does not have the same legal connotations as the word indict, you can opt for a synonym instead. Take a look at these synonyms from Power Thesaurus to learn more.

  • accuse
  • accuse of
  • allege
  • arraign
  • ascribe
  • blame
  • blaming
  • blow the whistle on
  • bring an action
  • bring charges
  • bring suit
  • bring to trial
  • censure
  • charge
  • cite
  • claim
  • complain
  • condemn
  • criminate
  • criticize
  • denounce
  • drag into court
  • enter a plea
  • express disapprobation
  • fault
  • file
  • file a claim
  • finger
  • frame
  • hang something on
  • have the law on
  • have up
  • hold accountable
  • hold responsible
  • impeach
  • implicate
  • impute
  • incriminate
  • inculpate
  • involve in litigation
  • lay the blame on
  • litigate
  • lodge a complaint
  • point the finger
  • point the finger at
  • prefer charges
  • press charges
  • prosecute
  • prosecuting
  • put on trial
  • rebuke
  • reprehend
  • reproach
  • sue
  • summon
  • summons
  • take to court
  • tax
  • try

What Are Antonyms of the Word Indicted?

Numerous words also mean the opposite of indict, called antonyms. Reference these antonyms from Power Thesaurus if you’re looking for an opposite word for indict.

  • absolve
  • accept responsibility
  • acclaim
  • accomplishment
  • account
  • acquit
  • acquittal
  • advocate
  • assets
  • champion
  • commend
  • completion
  • condone
  • conduct
  • defend
  • deliverance
  • discharge
  • exculpate
  • excuse
  • execute
  • exonerate
  • expenditure
  • find not guilty
  • forgive
  • grant forgiveness
  • pardon
  • vindicate


The word indict can be used in and out of the courtroom to refer to an accusation, but it has a more specific meaning in law. 


  1. Indict synonyms – 393 Words and Phrases for Indict | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Indict antonyms – 40 Opposites of Indict | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Indicted – definition of indicted | The Free Dictionary 
  4. What is an Indictment? | FindLaw