Why was clemency trending last week?


[ig-zon-uh-reyt] /ɪgˈzɒn əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), exonerated, exonerating.
to clear, as of an accusation; free from guilt or blame; exculpate:
He was exonerated from the accusation of cheating.
to relieve, as from an obligation, duty, or task.
Origin of exonerate
late Middle English
1515-25; late Middle English < Latin exonerātus (past participle of exonerāre to unburden, discharge), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + oner- (stem of onus) a burden + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
exoneration, noun
exonerative, adjective
exonerator, noun
unexonerated, adjective
unexonerative, adjective
Can be confused
exculpate, exonerate, inculpate.
1. vindicate. See absolve. 2. release, discharge, free.
1. blame. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exonerated
  • exonerated defendants are less likely to have serious criminal records.
  • The thesis by the student who was exonerated was found to have been the source of material copied by other students.
  • When they did, those results exonerated the defendant, who was acquitted.
  • He was planning to stay in housing there that was set up especially for exonerated prisoners.
  • exonerated and freed, he has staged a comeback that another conviction might jeopardise.
  • The commissioner said he was happy with the report, which he said exonerated him.
  • Some will languish behind bars for life and others may actually be exonerated and set free.
  • He was exonerated, but the allegation of misconduct infuriated him.
  • In the end, if he is exonerated, it is not because he made no mistake but because his mistake was justified.
  • In the end he was fully exonerated of having known what was going on, but was fined for receiving money from the shop.
British Dictionary definitions for exonerated


verb (transitive)
to clear or absolve from blame or a criminal charge
to relieve from an obligation or task; exempt
Derived Forms
exoneration, noun
exonerative, adjective
exonerator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exonerāre to free from a burden, from onus a burden
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 exonerated



mid-15c., from Latin exoneratus, past participle of exonerare "remove a burden, discharge, unload," from ex- "off" (see ex-) + onerare "to unload; overload, oppress," from onus (genitive oneris) "burden" (see onus). Related: Exonerated; exonerating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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