excuse

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English excusen (verb) and excuse (noun), borrowed from Old French escuser (verb) and excuse (noun), from Latin excūsō, excūsāre (to excuse, allege in excuse, literally, free from a charge), from ex (out) + causa (a charge); see cause, accuse and recuse. Displaced native Old English lādian (to excuse) and lādung (an excuse).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb
  • (UK) enPR: ĭkskyo͞oz', IPA(key): /ɪkˈskjuːz/, /ɛksˈkjuːz/
  • (US) enPR: ĭkskyo͞oz', IPA(key): /ɪksˈkjuz/, /ɛksˈkjuz/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːz
Noun

Verb[edit]

excuse (third-person singular simple present excuses, present participle excusing, simple past and past participle excused)

  1. (transitive) To forgive; to pardon.
    I excused him his transgressions.
  2. (transitive) To allow to leave, or release from any obligation.
    May I be excused from the table?
    I excused myself from the proceedings to think over what I'd heard.
  3. (transitive) To provide an excuse for; to explain, with the aim of alleviating guilt or negative judgement.
    You know he shouldn't have done it, so don't try to excuse his behavior!
    • c. 1503–1512, John Skelton, Ware the Hauke; republished in John Scattergood, editor, John Skelton: The Complete English Poems, 1983, OCLC 8728872, lines 6–7, page 62:
      They cannot be excusyd
      By reason nor by law; []
  4. To relieve of an imputation by apology or defense; to make apology for as not seriously evil; to ask pardon or indulgence for.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

  • (to release from guilt, shame, or punishment): blame, punish

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

excuse (countable and uncountable, plural excuses)

  1. (countable, uncountable) Explanation designed to avoid or alleviate guilt or negative judgment; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault.
    • 1604-11, Bible (King James Version), Luke: XIV:18
      And they all with one consent began to make excuse.
    Tell me why you were late – and I don't want to hear any excuses!
  2. (law) A defense to a criminal or civil charge wherein the accused party admits to doing acts for which legal consequences would normally be appropriate, but asserts that special circumstances relieve that party of culpability for having done those acts.
  3. (often with preceding negative adjective, especially sorry, poor, or lame) An example of something that is substandard or of inferior quality.
    That thing is a poor excuse for a gingerbread man. Hasn't anyone taught you how to bake?
    He's a sorry excuse for a doctor.
    • 2008, Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap, London: Atlantic Books, page 131:
      What a fucking lame excuse for a man.
    • 2018 October 17, Drachinifel, Last Ride of the High Seas Fleet - Battle of Texel 1918[1], archived from the original on 4 August 2022, retrieved 4 August 2022, 15:10 from the start:
      Seydlitz correctly identifies the larger shell splashes as coming from the two "large light cruisers" at the rear, and takes aim. Moments later, Courageous sheers out of line, smoke and steam venting through a massive hole in her side, the shells having blasted right through whatever excuse for armor was present and detonated amidst the boiler rooms. She is doomed.

Usage notes[edit]

  • We often say to make an excuse.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (explanation designed to avoid or alleviate guilt or negative judgment): pretext release, clear, justify, forgive, tolerate, overlook, exempt, pardon, discharge, pretext, bear with, acquit, exonerate, absolve, pretense, vindicate.

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From excuser.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

excuse f (plural excuses)

  1. excuse

Verb[edit]

excuse

  1. inflection of excuser:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Further reading[edit]


Latin[edit]

Participle[edit]

excūse

  1. vocative masculine singular of excūsus

Spanish[edit]

Verb[edit]

excuse

  1. inflection of excusar:
    1. first-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular present subjunctive
    3. third-person singular imperative