Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

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excuse

ex·cuse

excuse

 
 
parts of speech:
transitive verb, noun
features:
Word Combinations (verb, noun), Word Explorer
part of speech: transitive verb
pronunciation: ihks kyuz
inflections: excused, excuses, excusing
definition 1: to pardon or overlook (a minor fault or error).
Please excuse my tardiness.The school cannot excuse stealing; your son will be suspended, if not expelled.I hope you will excuse my not wearing a proper dinner jacket.
synonyms:
forgive, overlook, pardon
antonyms:
punish
similar words:
condone, disregard, ignore, let off, make allowance for, remit
definition 2: to make apology for; request lenience for.
He excused himself for the loud cough.
synonyms:
apologize for
similar words:
make allowance for, palliate, rationalize, regret, repent
definition 3: to serve as partial or complete justification for; extenuate.
The illness excuses her absence.
synonyms:
absolve, extenuate, justify, vindicate
similar words:
acquit, alibi, clear, explain, rationalize, sanction
definition 4: to release from obligation; exempt.
The government excused him from military duty.
synonyms:
absolve, exempt, let off, release
similar words:
acquit, exculpate, exonerate, forgive, free, pardon, waive
definition 5: to allow to be dismissed, as a debt, punishment, or the like.
The rest of the jail term was excused because of the prisoner's good behavior.
synonyms:
forgive, pardon, remit, waive
similar words:
amnesty, forbear
Word CombinationsSubscriber feature About this feature
 
part of speech: noun
pronunciation: ihks kyus
definition 1: an explanation offered to justify or request pardon for a fault.
He had a good excuse, so I had to forgive him.My excuse for not calling is simply that I've just been too busy.
synonyms:
alibi, defense, explanation, justification
similar words:
apology, argument, cause, plea, warrant
definition 2: a reason for excusing.
A family vacation is not an excuse for being absent from school.
synonyms:
alibi, grounds, justification, vindication, warrant
similar words:
evidence, proof, reason
definition 3: the act of excusing.
The judge's excuse of the speeding violation surprised even the driver of the car.
synonyms:
absolution, forgiveness, justification, pardon, remission, vindication
antonyms:
punishment
similar words:
dismissal, exemption, explanation, forbearance, indulgence, lenience, release, reprieve, respite, waiver
definition 4: a pretext or subterfuge, esp. when used to escape disapproval or blame.
He said he had to go to the dentist, but that was just an excuse to get out of work early.
synonyms:
pretense, rationalization, smoke screen
similar words:
alibi, cop-out, defense, loophole, pretext, subterfuge
definition 5: (informal) an example of something (followed by "for" or "of" and used in statements of disapproval).
He is a poor excuse for a father.This is a pathetic excuse for a sandwich!
similar words:
example, specimen
Word CombinationsSubscriber feature About this feature
derivations: excusable (adj.), excusably (adv.), excuser (n.)
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  anger