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Excuse definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

EXCU'SE, v.t. s as z. [L. excuso; ex and causor, to blame. See Cause.]
1. To pardon; to free from the imputation of fault or blame; to acquit of guilt. We excuse a person in our own minds, when we acquit him of guilt or blame; or we excuse him by a declaration of that acquital.
2. To pardon, as a fault; to forgive entirely, or to admit to be little censurable, and to overlook. We excuse a fault, which admits of apology or extenuation; and we excuse irregular conduct, when extraordinary circumstances appear to justify it.
3. To free from an obligation or duty.
I pray thee have me excused. Luke 14.
4. To remit; not to exact; as, to excuse a forfeiture.
5. To pardon; to admit an apology for.
Excuse some courtly strains.
6. To throw off an imputation by apology.
Think you that we excuse ourselves to you? 2 Corinthians 12.
7. To justify; to vindicate.
Their thoughts accusing or else excusing one another. Romans 2.
EXCU'SE, n. A plea offered in extenuation of a fault or irregular deportment; apology. Every man has an excuse to offer for his neglect of duty; the debtor makes excuses for delay of payment.
1. The act of excusing or apologizing.
2. That which excuses; that which extenuates or justifies a fault. His inability to comply with the request must be his excuse.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.; "he kept finding excuses to stay"; "every day he had a new alibi for not getting a job"; "his transparent self-justification was unacceptable" [syn: excuse, alibi, exculpation, self-justification]
2: a note explaining an absence; "he had to get his mother to write an excuse for him"
3: a poor example; "it was an apology for a meal"; "a poor excuse for an automobile" [syn: apology, excuse] v
1: accept an excuse for; "Please excuse my dirty hands" [syn: excuse, pardon]
2: grant exemption or release to; "Please excuse me from this class" [syn: excuse, relieve, let off, exempt]
3: serve as a reason or cause or justification of; "Your need to sleep late does not excuse your late arrival at work"; "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again" [syn: excuse, explain]
4: defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning; "rationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior"; "he rationalized his lack of success" [syn: apologize, apologise, excuse, justify, rationalize, rationalise]
5: ask for permission to be released from an engagement [syn: excuse, beg off]
6: excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with; "excuse someone's behavior"; "She condoned her husband's occasional infidelities" [syn: excuse, condone]

Merriam Webster's

I. transitive verb (excused; excusing) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French escuser, excuser, from Latin excusare, from ex- + causa cause, explanation Date: 13th century 1. a. to make apology for b. to try to remove blame from 2. to forgive entirely or disregard as of trivial import ; regard as excusable <graciously excused his tardiness> 3. a. to grant exemption or release to <was excused from jury duty> b. to allow to leave <excused the class> 4. to serve as excuse for ; justify <nothing can excuse such neglect> excusable adjective excusableness noun excusably adverb excuser noun Synonyms: excuse, condone, pardon, forgive mean to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these <excuse an interruption> <excused them for interrupting>. Often the term implies extenuating circumstances <injustice excuses strong responses>. condone implies that one overlooks without censure behavior (as dishonesty or violence) that involves a serious breach of a moral, ethical, or legal code, and the term may refer to the behavior or to the agent responsible for it <a society that condones alcohol but not narcotics>. pardon implies that one remits a penalty due for an admitted or established offense <pardon a criminal>. forgive implies that one gives up all claim to requital and to resentment or vengeful feelings <could not forgive their rudeness>. II. noun Date: 14th century 1. the act of excusing 2. a. something offered as justification or as grounds for being excused b. plural an expression of regret for failure to do something c. a note of explanation of an absence 3. justification, reason Synonyms: see apology

Oxford Reference Dictionary

v. & n. --v.tr. 1 attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a person, act, or fault). 2 (of a fact or circumstance) serve in mitigation of (a person or act). 3 obtain exemption for (a person or oneself). 4 (foll. by from) release (a person) from a duty etc. (excused from supervision duties). 5 overlook or forgive (a fault or offence). 6 (foll. by for) forgive (a person) for a fault. 7 not insist upon (what is due). 8 refl. apologize for leaving. --n. 1 a reason put forward to mitigate or justify an offence, fault, etc. 2 an apology (made my excuses). 3 (foll. by for) a poor or inadequate example of. Phrases and idioms: be excused be allowed to leave a room etc., e.g. to go to the lavatory. excuse me a polite apology for lack of ceremony, for an interruption etc., or for disagreeing. excuse-me a dance in which dancers may interrupt other pairs to change partners. Derivatives: excusable adj. excusably adv. excusatory adj. Etymology: ME f. OF escuser f. L excusare (as EX-(1), causa CAUSE, accusation)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Excuse Ex*cuse", n. [Cf. F. excuse. See Excuse, v. t.] 1. The act of excusing, apologizing, exculpating, pardoning, releasing, and the like; acquittal; release; absolution; justification; extenuation. Pleading so wisely in excuse of it. --Shak. 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. 3. That which excuses; that which extenuates or justifies a fault. ``It hath the excuse of youth.'' --Shak. If eyes were made for seeing. Then beauty is its own excuse for being. --Emerson. Syn: See Apology.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Excuse Ex*cuse", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Excused; p. pr. & vb. n. Excusing.] [OE. escusen, cusen, OF. escuser, excuser, F. excuser, fr. L. excusare; ex out + causa cause, causari to plead. See Cause.] 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. 3. To regard with indulgence; to view leniently or to overlook; to pardon. And in our own (excuse some courtly stains.) No whiter page than Addison remains. --Pope. 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. 5. To relieve of an imputation by apology or defense; to make apology for as not seriously evil; to ask pardon or indulgence for. Think ye that we excuse ourselves to you? --2 Cor. xii. 19. Syn: To vindicate; exculpate; absolve; acquit. Usage: - 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.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(excused) Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English. 1. An excuse is a reason which you give in order to explain why something has been done or has not been done, or in order to avoid doing something. It is easy to find excuses for his indecisiveness... Once I had had a baby I had the perfect excuse to stay at home... If you stop making excuses and do it you'll wonder what took you so long. = justification N-COUNT: oft N for n/-ing, N to-inf If you say that there is no excuse for something, you are emphasizing that it should not happen, or expressing disapproval that it has happened. There's no excuse for behaviour like that... Solitude was no excuse for sloppiness. PHRASE: v-link PHR, oft PHR for n/-ing [disapproval] 2. To excuse someone or excuse their behaviour means to provide reasons for their actions, especially when other people disapprove of these actions. He excused himself by saying he was 'forced to rob to maintain my wife and cat'... That doesn't excuse my mother's behaviour. = justify VERB: V n by -ing, V n 3. If you excuse someone for something wrong that they have done, you forgive them for it. Many people might have excused them for shirking some of their responsibilities. = forgive VERB: V n for n/-ing, also V n, V n n 4. If someone is excused from a duty or responsibility, they are told that they do not have to carry it out. She is usually excused from her duties during the school holidays... She was excused duties on Saturday. VERB: usu passive, be V-ed from n/-ing, be V-ed n 5. If you excuse yourself, you use a phrase such as 'Excuse me' as a polite way of saying that you are about to leave. He excused himself and went up to his room. VERB: V pron-refl 6. You say 'Excuse me' when you want to politely get someone's attention, especially when you are about to ask them a question. Excuse me, but are you Mr Honig? CONVENTION [formulae] 7. You use excuse me to apologize to someone when you have disturbed or interrupted them. Excuse me interrupting, but there's a thing I feel I've got to say. CONVENTION [formulae] 8. You use excuse me or a phrase such as if you'll excuse me as a polite way of indicating that you are about to leave or that you are about to stop talking to someone. 'Excuse me,' she said to Jarvis, and left the room... Now if you'll excuse me, I've got work to do. CONVENTION [politeness] 9. You use excuse me, but to indicate that you are about to disagree with someone. (mainly BRIT) Excuse me, but I want to know what all this has to do with us. CONVENTION 10. You say excuse me to apologize when you have bumped into someone, or when you need to move past someone in a crowd. = sorry PHRASE [formulae] 11. You say excuse me to apologize when you have done something slightly embarrassing or impolite, such as burping, hiccupping, or sneezing. CONVENTION [formulae] 12. You say 'Excuse me?' to show that you want someone to repeat what they have just said. (AM; in BRIT, usually use pardon, sorry) CONVENTION [formulae]

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. v. a. 1. Pardon, forgive, acquit, absolve, exculpate, exonerate. 2. Extenuate, justify, form or constitute an apology or excuse for. 3. Exempt, release, free, let off. 4. Overlook, regard indulgently, treat as venial. 5. [With self.] Clear, vindicate, exculpate, exonerate, make defence or apology for, set right. II. n. 1. Apology, plea, justification, absolution. 2. Pretext, pretence, color, guise, disguise, semblance, makeshift, subterfuge, evasion, false show.

Moby Thesaurus

abject apology, absolution, absolve, acknowledgment, acquit, acquittal, acquittance, alibi, alibi out of, allow, amnesty, apologize for, apology, basis, be blind to, blind, breast-beating, cause, clear, clearance, clearing, cloak, color, compurgation, condonation, condone, confession, contrition, cop-out, cover, cover story, cover with excuses, cover-up, decontaminate, defence, defend, defense, destigmatization, destigmatize, destigmatizing, device, discharge, disculpation, dismiss, dismissal, dispense, dispense from, dispense with, disregard, escape, evasion, except, exculpate, exculpation, exempt, exempt from, exemption, exonerate, exoneration, explain, explanation, extenuate, extenuation, facade, feint, forgive, forgiveness, foundation, free, front, give absolution, give dispensation from, gloss, gloss over, grace, grant amnesty to, grant forgiveness, grant immunity, grant remission, grounds, guise, handle, heedlessness, ignore, immunity, indemnity, indulgence, justification, justify, lame excuse, let go, let off, liberate, lie out of, likely story, locus standi, loophole, make apology for, makeshift, mask, mea culpa, mitigate, mitigation, nonpros, offer excuse for, ostensible motive, out, overlook, palliate, palliation, pardon, pass over, penitence, permit, plea, plead ignorance, poor excuse, pretense, pretension, pretext, protestation, public motive, purgation, purge, purging, put-off, quash the charge, quietus, quittance, rational ground, rationale, rationalization, rationalize, reason, reason for, reason why, redemption, refuge, regrets, release, relieve, remise, remission, remission of sin, remit, reprieve, right, save the necessity, screen, semblance, set free, sham, shift, show, shrift, shrive, shrug off, smoke screen, spare, sparing, squirm out of, stalking-horse, stall, stated cause, stopgap, story, stratagem, substitute, subterfuge, the big idea, the idea, the whatfor, the wherefore, the why, trick, underlying reason, varnish, veil, verdict of acquittal, vindicate, vindication, warrant, way out, whitewash, wink at, withdraw the charge, worm out of



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