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alibi

a·li·bi

alibi

 
 
pronunciation:
ae l baI
features:
Word History, Word Explorer, Word Parts
part of speech: noun
inflections: alibis
definition 1: a way of defending oneself against criminal charges by showing that one was not at the scene of the crime when it happened.
The accused woman had no alibi, for she could not prove she was at work at the time the murder took place.
synonyms:
defense
similar words:
plea
definition 2: (informal) an excuse.
He gives his boss a new alibi every time he is late for work.
synonyms:
defense, excuse
similar words:
explanation
Word History
Alibi is a Latin word for "elsewhere." In the 1700s, English lawyers began using this word in court. A lawyer might say, "The prisoner has proved himself alibi"--in other words, the prisoner has proved he was not at the scene of the crime. By the late 1800s, alibi was being used as the name for this kind of proof.
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