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alibi

a·li·bi

alibi

 
 
pronunciation:
ae l baI
parts of speech:
noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb
features:
Word Combinations (noun), Word History, Word Explorer, Word Parts
part of speech: noun
inflections: alibis
definition 1: the legal defense of establishing one's location away from the scene of a crime during its commission.
synonyms:
defense
similar words:
plea
definition 2: (informal) an excuse.
synonyms:
apologia, defense, excuse, justification, plea
similar words:
cover-up, explanation, pretext, subterfuge, vindication
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part of speech: intransitive verb
inflections: alibied, alibiing, alibis
definition: (informal) to give an excuse.
He alibied his way out of trouble.
similar words:
cover
 
part of speech: transitive verb
definition: to provide an excuse in someone's defense.
She alibied her brother to protect him.
synonyms:
corroborate, defend, excuse, justify
similar words:
support, uphold
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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