exculpate


exculpate
exculpate, absolve, exonerate, acquit, vindicate mean to free from a charge or burden.
Exculpate implies simply a clearing from blame, often in a matter of small importance
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exculpate oneself from a charge of inconsistency

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directly Harding was blameless for what was going on. Indirectly he cannot be wholly exculpatedS. H.Adams

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Absolve implies a release, often a formal release, either from obligations or responsibilities that bind the conscience or from the consequences or penalties of their violation
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absolve a person from a promise

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society cannot be absolved of responsibility for its slums

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Exonerate implies relief, often in a moral sense, from what is regarded as a load or burden
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no reason for exonerating him [a judge] from the ordinary duties of a citizen— Justice Holmes

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In general exonerate more frequently suggests such relief from a definite charge that not even the suspicion of wrongdoing remains
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exonerate a person charged with theft

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Acquit implies a decision in one's favor with reference to a specific charge
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acquit a suspect of all participation in a crime

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you do acquit me then of anything wrong? You are convinced that I never meant to deceive your brother . . . ?— Austen

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Vindicate, unlike the preceding words, may have reference to things as well as to persons that have been subjected to attack, suspicion, censure, or ridicule. As here compared (see also MAINTAIN) it implies a clearing through proof of the injustice or the unfairness of such criticism or blame and the exoneration of the person or the justification of the thing
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both his knowledge and his honesty were vindicated when the river was discovered— G. R. Stewart

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the . . . politicians were vindicated on all counts— Rovere

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Analogous words: justify, *explain, rationalize: *excuse, condone, pardon, forgive, remit
Antonyms: inculpate: accuse
Contrasted words: blame, denounce, reprehend, reprobate, censure (see CRITICIZE): charge, arraign, indict, incriminate, impeach (see ACCUSE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • exculpate — ex·cul·pate / ek skəl ˌpāt, ek skəl / vt pat·ed, pat·ing [Medieval Latin exculpare, from Latin ex out of + culpa blame]: to clear from alleged fault or guilt a statement...offered to exculpate the accused is not admissible unless corroborating… …   Law dictionary

  • Exculpate — Ex*cul pate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Exculpated}, p. pr. & vb. n.. {Exculpating} (?).] [L. ex out + culpatus, p. p. of culpare to find fault with, to blame, culpa fault. See {Culpable}.] To clear from alleged fault or guilt; to prove to be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • exculpate — 1650s, from M.L. exculpatus, pp. of exculpare, from L. ex culpa, from ex from + culpa abl. of culpa blame. Related: Exculpated; exculpating …   Etymology dictionary

  • exculpate — [v] forgive absolve, acquit, amnesty, clear, condone, discharge, disculpate, dismiss, excuse, exonerate, explain, free, justify, let off*, pardon, rationalize, release, remit, vindicate, wipe slate clean*; concepts 10,127,317 Ant. blame, condemn …   New thesaurus

  • exculpate — ► VERB formal ▪ show or declare to be not guilty of wrongdoing. DERIVATIVES exculpation noun exculpatory adjective. ORIGIN Latin exculpare free from blame …   English terms dictionary

  • exculpate — [eks′kəl pāt΄, iks′kul′pāt] vt. exculpated, exculpating [< L ex, out + culpatus, pp. of culpare, to blame < culpa, fault] to free from blame; declare or prove guiltless exculpable [ik skul′pə bəl] adj. exculpation n. exculpatory adj …   English World dictionary

  • exculpate — transitive verb ( pated; pating) Etymology: Medieval Latin exculpatus, past participle of exculpare, from Latin ex + culpa blame Date: circa 1681 to clear from alleged fault or guilt • exculpation noun Synonyms: exculpate, absolve, exonerate,… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • exculpate — v. (formal) (D; tr.) to exculpate from * * * [ ekskʌlpeɪt] (formal) (D; tr.) to exculpate from …   Combinatory dictionary

  • exculpate — UK [ˈekskʌlpeɪt] / US [ˈekskʌlˌpeɪt] verb [transitive] Word forms exculpate : present tense I/you/we/they exculpate he/she/it exculpates present participle exculpating past tense exculpated past participle exculpated very formal to prove that… …   English dictionary

  • exculpate — exculpable /ik skul peuh beuhl/, adj. exculpation, n. /ek skul payt , ik skul payt/, v.t., exculpated, exculpating. to clear from a charge of guilt or fault; free from blame; vindicate. [1650 60; < L exculpatus freed from blame, equiv. to ex EX 1 …   Universalium


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