Excuse Ex*cuse", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Excused}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Excusing}.] [OE. escusen, cusen, OF. escuser, excuser, F. excuser, fr. L. excusare; ex out + causa cause, causari to plead. See {Cause}.] 1. To free from accusation, or the imputation of fault or blame; to clear from guilt; to release from a charge; to justify by extenuating a fault; to exculpate; to absolve; to acquit. [1913 Webster]

A man's persuasion that a thing is duty, will not excuse him from guilt in practicing it, if really and indeed it be against Gog's law. --Abp. Sharp. [1913 Webster]

2. To pardon, as a fault; to forgive entirely, or to admit to be little censurable, and to overlook; as, we excuse irregular conduct, when extraordinary circumstances appear to justify it. [1913 Webster]

I must excuse what can not be amended. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. To regard with indulgence; to view leniently or to overlook; to pardon. [1913 Webster]

And in our own (excuse some courtly stains.) No whiter page than Addison remains. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

4. To free from an impending obligation or duty; hence, to disengage; to dispense with; to release by favor; also, to remit by favor; not to exact; as, to excuse a forfeiture. [1913 Webster]

I pray thee have me excused. --xiv. 19. [1913 Webster]

5. To relieve of an imputation by apology or defense; to make apology for as not seriously evil; to ask pardon or indulgence for. [1913 Webster]

Think ye that we excuse ourselves to you? --2 Cor. xii. 19.

Syn: To vindicate; exculpate; absolve; acquit.

Usage: - {To Pardon}, {Excuse}, {Forgive}. A superior pardons as an act of mercy or generosity; either a superior or an equal excuses. A crime, great fault, or a grave offence, as one against law or morals, may be pardoned; a small fault, such as a failure in social or conventional obligations, slight omissions or neglects may be excused. Forgive relates to offenses against one's self, and punishment foregone; as, to forgive injuries or one who has injured us; to pardon grave offenses, crimes, and criminals; to excuse an act of forgetfulness, an unintentional offense. Pardon is also a word of courtesy employed in the sense of excuse. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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