Is there any difference in meaning between blame and accuse or are they interchangeable? I looked both of them up in the dictionaries and couldn't figure out if there's any difference between them. Dictionary Definitions Accuse → If you accuse someone of doing something wrong or dishonest, you say or tell them that you believe that they did it. Blame → If you blame a person or thing for something bad, you believe or say that they are responsible for it or that they caused it.
Formally, we use accuse with an act—we assert that somebody did something reprehensible:
Mary accuses John of failing to lock the door.
But we use blame with the outcome—we assert somebody's responsibility for the undesirable result:
Mary blames John for the robbery. OR
Mary blames the robbery on John.
Informally, however, these distinctions often blur. For instance, if the robbery has already been mentioned, blame may very easily take a for clause which explains why the target is blamed:
Mary's house has been robbed. Mary blames John, for failing [=because he failed] to lock the door.
And accuse may take a complement which expresses a state rather than an act:
Mary accuses John of being responsible for the robbery.
When a PERSON(n) is added to the QUESTION it can easily become an ACCUSATION or in a court of law it can also be called "Leading".
Scenario: I'm really busy today so I can't take Grandma to the Store. Question: Can you please try and take grandma to the store? Leading: Do you not love your Grandma enough to take her to the Store?
There are also subtle nuances of the english language where a person can take offense and feel like they are being accused just in the order their name is inserted into the question like so:
Scenario: Johns Wallet is missing. Question: What happened to my wallet? Accusation: What happened to my wallet John?
There are also generalized accusations where a person may "FEEL" accused.
Scenario: Marry comes home and feels really hot. Question: I'm hot, can you turn ON the A/C? Accusation: I'm hot, did you turn OFF the A/C?