How do you say when you are NOT doing anything wrong, but you are part of it by not pointing out the crime/situation....

e.g.: You are married to your wife and she starts to get fatter....the fatter she gets, the sadder you became ....and you do not say anything about it so you are ___________.

The word missing is the one I need.

In portuguese we have the word


which fits perfectly.

However, in English I am not sure about what to use.

  • 8
    Would complicit work for you?
    – deadrat
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 3:47
  • 2
    @deadrat Complicit doesn't work in this case because the OP included the point that "you are not doing anything wrong." Being complicit means that you are involved in the crime/wrongdoing rather than just being aware of it.
    – pyobum
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 4:34
  • 4
    an accessory to the crime, an enabler.
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 4:38
  • 5
    @pyobum You're right for complicit as a legal term of art, since under the law, to be complicit in an illegal act is to be an accomplice of a law- breaker, which in itself is criminal act. In the vernacular, I find uses of the word to mean involved with or approving of a bad act in such a way that cannot accrue blame for the bad act.
    – deadrat
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 6:17
  • 1
    @deadrat The OED agrees with you. Its definition for complicit as of 2005 (3d ed.): "Involved knowingly or with passive compliance, often in something underhand, sinister, or illegal."
    – 1006a
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 7:34

12 Answers 12


Even though you are NOT doing anything wrong but NOT pointing out the crime/situation, as you say, does make you a conniver.

Also according to MW:

1 : to pretend ignorance of or fail to take action against something one ought to oppose


  • The government connived in the rebels' military buildup.

  • The principal connived at all the school absences that were recorded on the day of the city's celebration of its Super Bowl victory

  • 2
    I had no idea that was a valid meaning of "connive" ... I thought it was about scheming and collaborating bad deeds! Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 11:14
  • 1
    Connive does have more of a mischievous edge. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 14:20
  • 2
    Interestingly, Google translate lists "Conniving" as the English equivalent of Portuguese "Conivente"
    – Michael J.
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 19:21
  • 1
    @MichaelJ.That indeed is interesting. Somehow when I read 'conviente', connive was the first word that struck in my head.
    – Nikki
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 3:47

Rather than a single word, the common expression "turning a blind eye" would suit this situation.

From the Free Dictionary, "turning a blind eye":

To ignore something and pretend you do not see it. How can you turn a blind eye to all those starving children?

To choose to ignore behaviour that you know is wrong. I knew Hugo was taking the money but I turned a blind eye because he was my sister's child. (often + to ) Management often turn a blind eye to bullying in the workplace.


You are acquiescing. That is, you are tacitly approving or otherwise permitting the inference of consent absent explicit objection.



The parents became accessory to the murder, when they helped their son escape the country.

....the fatter she gets, the sadder you became ....and you do not say anything about it, and so you are an accessory to her ill-health. You are accessorial to her ill-health.

ac·ces·so·ry (ăk-sĕs′ə-rē) n. pl. ac·ces·so·ries

    • a. A subordinate or supplementary item; an adjunct.
    • b. Something nonessential but desirable that contributes to an effect or result. See Synonyms at attachment.
  1. Law - One who knowingly assists a lawbreaker in the commission of a crime but does not actually participate in that crime. adj.
  2. Having a secondary, supplementary, or subordinate function.
  3. Law - Involving the knowing assistance of a lawbreaker in the commission of a crime without actual participation in the crime.

[Middle English accessorie, from Medieval Latin accessōrius, from accessor, helper, from Latin accessus, approach; see access.]

ac′ces·so′ri·al (-sə-sôr′ē-əl) adj.

ac·ces′so·ri·ly adv.

Usage Note: Although the pronunciation (ə-sĕs′ə-rē), with no (k) sound in the first syllable, is sometimes heard, it is not accepted by a majority of the Usage Panel. In the 1997 survey, 87 percent of the Panelists disapproved of it. The 2012 survey showed an 80 percent disapproval rate.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



  1. A subordinate element added to another entity: adjunct, appendage, appurtenance, attachment, supplement.
  2. One who assists a lawbreaker in a wrongful or criminal act: accomplice, confederate, conspirator.

Giving or able to give help or support: ancillary, assistant, auxiliary, collateral, contributory, subsidiary, supportive.

The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • For the people on the other side of the pond, the word is apparently, accesary. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 14:37

You're complicit by omission.

An example from the Washington Post:

Other Republican leaders remain mostly silent, hiding behind the excuse that attacking Mr. Trump might only help him. They must ask themselves whether they want to be complicit by omission in his poisoning of American political life.

  • 1
    You should find a more neutral quote. I'm tired of seeing political references in unrelated questions. Maybe include a definition, also.
    – mbomb007
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 22:45

One is resigned when accepting such situations without resistance.

....and you do not say anything about it so you are resigned.


resigned ADJECTIVE

Having accepted something unpleasant that one cannot do anything about:
‘my response is a resigned shrug of the shoulders’

‘Instead of being outraged, many ranchers seemed resigned.’


I am frankly amazed that nobody has yet pointed out that you are condoning your wife's behaviour.

  • 6
    I'm not sure I agree with just condoning since that implies you're OK with it, which the OP clearly states he is not. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 14:35
  • @JATerroba: if you do not say anything about the behaviour, you are absolutely condining it, whatevr your feelings may be. Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 10:52


neg·li·gent ˈneɡləjənt/ Google

failing to take proper care in doing something.
"directors have been negligent in the performance of their duties"

You neglected to say anything about her condition, and therefore you feel guilt about it. You are guilty of negligence.

Also, definition from Miriam Webster:

1a : marked by or given to neglect especially habitually or culpably

1b : failing to exercise the care expected of a reasonably prudent person in like circumstances

2 : marked by a carelessly easy manner

  • I would choose this as answer. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 20:37

The word abide works here.

The most pertinent definitions for abide from Merriam-Webster Online:

1 to bear patiently

2 to accept without objection

In your example, exactly as it is worded:

You are married to your wife and she starts to get fatter....the fatter she gets, the sadder you became ....and you do not say anything about it so you are abiding.

We usually use abide in this way by following it with the behavior/situation being abided (i.e. abide X):

Your wife starts getting fatter and fatter. The fatter she gets, the sadder you become, but you do not say anything--you are abiding her weight gain.

Usage example from biographical information on Robert Frost discussing his father [italics mine]:

Isabelle soon knew another side of Will Frost as a drinker and gambler, traits he had acquired at Harvard. He could be a harsh man to live with, but she abided his habits as a dutiful wife who relied on her own strong religious faith.


The husband in your example is being an enabler, or is enabling his wife:

one that enables another to achieve an end; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior

(link and definition from Merriam-Webster)


Condone is a good verb to use when you intentionally overlook a detail like your wife's voracious eating habits and gain in weight.

Someone who condones can be called a condoner, but the word doesn't appear in all dictionaries. So I am not sure of its usage.


You can put up with the thing, live with it and\or tolerateit.

All of these phrases would imply that you didn't like the thing, but weren't going to try to change\correct it.

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