Guilt is a moral emotion that occurs when a person believes or realizes—accurately or not—that they have compromised their own standards of conduct or have violated universal moral standards and bear significant responsibility for that violation.
Guilt is closely related to the concept of remorse, regret, as well as shame.
Guilt is an important factor in perpetuating obsessive–compulsive disorder symptoms.
The etymology of the word is obscure, and developed its modern spelling from the O.E. form gylt "crime, sin, fault, fine, debt", which is possibly derived from O.E. gieldan "to pay for, debt". Because it was used in the Lord's Prayer as the translation for the Latin debitum and also in Matthew xviii. 27, and gyltiȝ is used to render debet in Matthew xxiii. 18, it has been inferred to have had the primary sense of ‘debt’, though there is no real evidence for this.
Its development into a "sense of guilt" is first recorded in 1690 as a misuse of its original m