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)

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.

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." "If eyes were made for seeing. Then beauty is its own excuse for being." (Emerson)

Synonyms: See Apology.

Origin: Cf. F. Excuse. See Excuse.

(01 Mar 1998)

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