1. To free from accusation, or the imputation of fault or blame; to clear from guilt; to release from a charge; to justify by extenuating a fault; to exculpate; to absolve; to acquit. "A man's persuasion that a thing is duty, will not excuse him from guilt in practicing it, if really and indeed it be against Gog's law." (Abp. Sharp)
2. To pardon, as a fault; to forgive entirely, or to admit to be little censurable, and to overlook; as, we excuse irregular conduct, when extraordinary circumstances appear to justify it. "I must excuse what can not be amended." (Shak)
4. To free from an impending obligation or duty; hence, to disengage; to dispense with; to release by favor; also, to remit by favor; not to exact; as, to excuse a forfeiture. "I pray thee have me excused." (xiv. 19)
Synonyms: To vindicate, exculpate, absolve, acquit.
- To Pardon, Excuse, Forgive. A superior pardons as an act of mercy or generosity; either a superior or an equal excuses. A crime, great fault, or a grave offence, as one against law or morals, may be pardoned; a small fault, such as a failure in social or conventional obligations, slight omissions or neglects may be excused. Forgive relates to offenses against one's self, and punishment foregone; as, to forgive injuries or one who has injured us; to pardon grave offenses, crimes, and criminals; to excuse an act of forgetfulness, an unintentional offense. Pardon is also a word of courtesy employed in the sense of excuse.
Origin: OE. Escusen, cusen, OF. Escuser, excuser, F. Excuser, fr. L. Excusare; ex out + causa cause, causari to plead. See Cause.
2. That which is offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or irregular deportment; apology; as, an excuse for neglect of duty; excuses for delay of payment. "Hence with denial vain and coy excuse." (Milton)
Synonyms: See Apology.
Origin: Cf. F. Excuse. See Excuse.
(01 Mar 1998)
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