Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
First attested in the early 15th Century. From Middle English absolven, from Latin absolvere, present active infinitive of absolvō (“set free, acquit”), from ab (“away from”) + solvō (“loosen, free, release”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /əbˈzɒlv/
- (US) IPA(key): /æbˈzɑlv/, /æbˈsɑlv/, /əbˈzɑlv/, /əbˈsɑlv/
Audio (US) (file)
- (transitive) To set free, release or discharge (from obligations, debts, responsibility etc.). [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- You will absolve a subject from his allegiance.
1855, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James II, volume III:
- Halifax was absolved by a majority of fourteen.
- (transitive, obsolete) To resolve; to explain; to solve. [Attested from the late 15th century until the mid 17th century.]
- (transitive) To pronounce free from or give absolution for a penalty, blame, or guilt. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
- (transitive, law) To pronounce not guilty; to grant a pardon for. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
1807, w:Alexander Pope, The Odyssey by Homer (English translation):
- Absolves the just, and dooms the guilty souls.
- (transitive, theology) To grant a remission of sin; to give absolution to. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
1597, w:William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 5:
- To make confession and to be absolved.
- (transitive, theology) To remit a sin; to give absolution for a sin. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
1782, Edward Gibbon, History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, volume VI:
- In his name I absolve your perjury and sanctify your arms.
- (transitive, obsolete) To finish; to accomplish. [Attested from the late 16th century until the early 19th century.]
- (transitive) To pass a course or test; to gain credit for a class; to qualify academically.
- (to set free, release from obligations): Normally followed by the word from.
- (to pronounce free from; give absolution for blame): Normally followed by the word from.
- (set free): excuse, exempt, free, release
- (pronounce free or give absolution): acquit, exculpate, exonerate, pardon, remit, vindicate
- (theology: to pronounce free or give absolution from sin): remit
to set free
obsolete: to resolve or explain
to pronounce free or give absolution
law: to pronounce not guilty; to grant a pardon for
theology: to pronounce free or give absolution from sin
obsolete: to finish, accomplish
to pass a course or test; to gain credit for a class; to qualify academically
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
- Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 , ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 9