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excuse

[v. ik-skyooz; n. ik-skyoos] /v. ɪkˈskyuz; n. ɪkˈskyus/
verb (used with object), excused, excusing.
1.
to regard or judge with forgiveness or indulgence; pardon or forgive; overlook (a fault, error, etc.):
Excuse his bad manners.
2.
to offer an apology for; seek to remove the blame of:
He excused his absence by saying that he was ill.
3.
to serve as an apology or justification for; justify:
Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
4.
to release from an obligation or duty:
to be excused from jury duty.
5.
to seek or obtain exemption or release for (oneself):
to excuse oneself from a meeting.
6.
to refrain from exacting; remit; dispense with:
to excuse a debt.
7.
to allow (someone) to leave:
If you'll excuse me, I have to make a telephone call.
noun
8.
an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.:
His excuse for being late was unacceptable.
9.
a ground or reason for excusing or being excused:
Ignorance is no excuse.
10.
the act of excusing someone or something.
11.
a pretext or subterfuge:
He uses his poor health as an excuse for evading all responsibility.
12.
an inferior or inadequate specimen of something specified:
That coward is barely an excuse for a man. Her latest effort is a poor excuse for a novel.
Idioms
13.
Excuse me, (used as a polite expression, as when addressing a stranger, when interrupting or disagreeing with someone, or to request repetition of what has just been said.)
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; (v.) Middle English escusen < Old French escuser < Latin excūsāre to put outside, exonerate, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -cūsāre, derivative of causa cause; (noun) Middle English escuse < Old French, derivative of escuser; modern spelling with ex- on the model of ex-1
Related forms
excusable, adjective
excusableness, noun
excusably, adverb
excusal, noun
excuseless, adjective
excuser, noun
excusingly, adverb
excusive, adjective
excusively, adverb
nonexcusable, adjective
nonexcusableness, noun
nonexcusably, adverb
preexcuse, verb (used with object), preexcused, preexcusing.
self-excuse, noun
self-excused, adjective
self-excusing, adjective
unexcusable, adjective
unexcusably, adverb
unexcused, adjective
unexcusing, adjective
Can be confused
alibi, excuse (see usage note at alibi; see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
1. Excuse, forgive, pardon imply being lenient or giving up the wish to punish. Excuse means to overlook some (usually) slight offense: to excuse bad manners. Forgive is applied to excusing more serious offenses: to forgive and forget. Pardon usually applies to a specific act of lenience or mercy by an official or superior: The governor was asked to pardon the condemned criminal. 3. extenuate, palliate. 4. free. 8. justification. Excuse, apology both imply an explanation of some failure or failing. Excuse implies a desire to avoid punishment or rebuke. Apology usually implies acknowledgment that one has been in the wrong. 11. pretense, evasion, makeshift.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for excuse
  • Indeed this is an important reason for celebration, but not a corollary good excuse for complacency.
  • The juror should write a letter to the clerk of court requesting an excuse with an explanation of hardship.
  • The only thing that has changed is the excuse used to limit intellectual exchange.
  • And sunsets are a perfect excuse for shooting silhouettes.
  • Scientific uncertainty often becomes an excuse to ignore long-term problems, such as climate change.
  • The excuse is that the collision, if there is one, won't happen for another three or four billion years.
  • It used to be that a good excuse for not growing edibles was lack of room.
  • Cell-phone users who want to get out of work or a dreaded dinner date now have a handy excuse.
  • Many colleges cite lack of money and poor student preparation as an excuse for appalling failure rates.
  • Plus, as someone else said, it would only be an excuse to relax on the anti-pollution measures.
British Dictionary definitions for excuse

excuse

verb (transitive) (ɪkˈskjuːz)
1.
to pardon or forgive he always excuses her unpunctuality
2.
to seek pardon or exemption for (a person, esp oneself) to excuse oneself for one's mistakes
3.
to make allowances for; judge leniently to excuse someone's ignorance
4.
to serve as an apology or explanation for; vindicate or justify her age excuses her behaviour
5.
to exempt from a task, obligation, etc you are excused making breakfast
6.
to dismiss or allow to leave he asked them to excuse him
7.
to seek permission for (someone, esp oneself) to leave he excused himself and left
8.
(euphemistic) be excused, to go to the lavatory
9.
excuse me!, an expression used to catch someone's attention or to apologize for an interruption, disagreement, or social indiscretion
noun (ɪkˈskjuːs)
10.
an explanation offered in defence of some fault or offensive behaviour or as a reason for not fulfilling an obligation, etc he gave no excuse for his rudeness
11.
(informal) an inferior example of something specified; makeshift; substitute she is a poor excuse for a hostess
12.
the act of excusing
Derived Forms
excusable, adjective
excusableness, noun
excusably, adverb
Word Origin
C13: from Latin excusāre, from ex-1 + -cūsare, from causa cause, accusation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for excuse
excuse
early 13c., "to clear (someone) from blame," from O.Fr. escuser, from L. excusare "release from a charge," from ex- "out, away" + causa "accusation, legal action" (see cause). Meaning "to obtain exemption or release" is from mid-15c.; that of "to accept another's plea of excuse" is from early 14c. The noun sense of "that which is offered as a reason for being excused" is recorded from c.1500. Excuse me as a mild apology or statement of polite disagreement is from c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for excuse

excuse

noun

A version or example of: He's a rotten excuse for a lawyer (1940s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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