Perpetrator refers to a person or group of people who commit a crime, an illegal or harmful act, or engage in wrongful behavior.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Criminal, offender, culprit, wrongdoer, assailant, aggressor, lawbreaker


Victim, innocent, law-abiding citizen

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun perpetrations, perpetrator, perpetrators, perpetration
Verb perpetrate, perpetrated, perpetrates, perpetrating
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The police are still searching for the perpetrator of the robbery that took place last night.

  • The perpetrator of the crime was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison.

  • The victim of the assault was able to identify the perpetrator from a police lineup.

  • The authorities are urging anyone with information about the perpetrator to come forward and assist in the investigation.


The term perpetrator is commonly used in the context of criminal justice to refer to a person or group of people who commit a crime or engage in illegal or harmful behavior. Perpetrators can range from individuals who commit petty theft to those who engage in serious offenses such as murder or terrorism. The word is also used to describe individuals who engage in non-criminal but harmful behavior, such as perpetrators of domestic abuse or workplace harassment.

The word perpetrator comes from the Latin word perpetrare, which means to accomplish or to perform. It is often used in legal contexts to describe the person responsible for an offense or wrongdoing. The term is neutral and does not imply guilt or innocence, but simply refers to the person or group responsible for committing the act.

There are some variations of the word perpetrator that can be used to modify the meaning or add emphasis. For example, the prefix “co-” can be added to create “co-perpetrator,” which implies that there is more than one person involved in the crime or wrongdoing. Similarly, the suffix “-ism” can be added to create “perpetratorism,” which emphasizes the actions of the perpetrator and the harm caused to others.

In conclusion, the term perpetrator is an important concept in criminal justice and is used to describe the person or group responsible for committing a crime or engaging in harmful behavior. It is a neutral term that does not imply guilt or innocence, but simply identifies the person responsible for the act.