Indict means to formally accuse someone of a crime or offense and bring them to trial.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Charge, accuse, incriminate, prosecute, impeach


Exonerate, acquit, clear, absolve, vindicate

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun indictment, indictments
Verb indicted, indicts, indict, indicting
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The grand jury decided to indict the suspect for murder after reviewing the evidence.

  • The prosecutor was unable to indict the suspect due to lack of evidence.

  • The police department was criticized for its failure to indict the officer who shot an unarmed man.

  • The special counsel was authorized to indict anyone who obstructed the investigation.


Indict is a legal term that is used in the context of criminal law. It refers to the formal accusation of a person for committing a crime or offense. The word indict is commonly used in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the United States, an indictment is typically issued by a grand jury, while in the United Kingdom, it is issued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The word indict is often used in conjunction with the legal process of prosecution. In other words, when someone is indicted, they are charged with a crime and brought to trial. This legal process can be initiated by a law enforcement agency or by a prosecutor. Indictment is an important step in the legal process, as it marks the beginning of the formal accusation and prosecution of a person for a crime.

The word indict can be modified by various prefixes and suffixes to create related words. For example, the prefix ‘pre-’ can be added to create the word ‘preindictment’, which refers to the process of investigating a crime before an indictment is issued. The suffix ‘-ment’ can be added to create ‘indictment’, which refers to the formal accusation of a person for a crime.

In legal terms, the word indict is distinct from other related terms such as arrest, charge, and convict. Arrest refers to the act of taking a person into custody, while charge refers to the formal accusation of a person for a crime. Convict refers to the finding of guilt of a person for a crime after a trial. Indictment is an important step in the legal process that leads to a trial, but it does not necessarily lead to a conviction.