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Context SpecificPlay
Used mostly in legal or formal contexts, where the action has serious consequences. SlideIn court, the judge referred to the accused as the perpetrator.
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Negative ConnotationPlay
The word has negative vibes, implying the action done is wrong or harmful. SlideNews reports focused on finding the perpetrator responsible for the vandalism.
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Not for AccidentsPlay
'Perpetrator' is not used for someone causing accidental harm. SlideHe didn't mean to break the vase, so he's not a perpetrator.