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Whilst watching The Big Bang Theory (S04E11, ~06:45 in, where Howard and Stuart are talking in the Comic Book Store about Zack), I heard the following exchange:

— Is that sarcasm?
— No, it's an enditement of the American education system.

The two characters involved are talking about a third character (who is present) who is being perceived as "stupid".

When I heard the word enditement I imagined it as a synonym of "example", but I cannot find a definition of a similar-sounding word that fits into the context described.

Can anyone provide the correct spelling/definition of this word?

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, JLG, Mitch, MετάEd, Mark Beadles Nov 10 '12 at 2:05

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The word is indictment. –  JLG Nov 9 '12 at 22:19
Pronounced anywhere from /ɪn'daytmənt/ to /ṇ'dayʔmṇʔ/. –  John Lawler Nov 9 '12 at 22:27
What JLG said. I think it's General Reference - as soon as I type OP's an enditement into the Google search box, it offers me four possible ways to complete my search term. Every one of which changes enditement to indictment. –  FumbleFingers Nov 9 '12 at 22:28
Normally it is pronounced /ɪnˈdaɪtmənt/, at least phonemically. There are various allophones possible there, including up through [n̩ˈdʌɪʔmn̩ʔ], which is close to what John has written. –  tchrist Nov 9 '12 at 23:20

1 Answer 1

The word is indictment, but pronounced as you spell it. The meaning is "a formal charge or accusation of a serious crime."

By "How I met Your Mother", did you mean "The Big Bang Theory"? Howard, Stuart and Zack are characters in Big Bang, but not in HIMYM as far as I'm aware.

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I wouldn’t say “pronounced as you spell it”; that seldom works in English. Things like /ɪnˈdaɪtmənt/ or [n̩ˈdʌɪʔmn̩ʔ] work much better than “as you spell it”. –  tchrist Nov 9 '12 at 23:29
I think jessicar meant that "enditement", i.e., the OP spelling, is a reasonable way to have transcribed the word as heard. –  Andrew Lazarus Nov 18 '12 at 20:02

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