9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ab-zolv, -solv] /æbˈzɒlv, -ˈsɒlv/
verb (used with object), absolved, absolving.
to free from guilt or blame or their consequences:
The court absolved her of guilt in his death.
to set free or release, as from some duty, obligation, or responsibility (usually followed by from):
to be absolved from one's oath.
to grant pardon for.
  1. to grant or pronounce remission of sins to.
  2. to remit (a sin) by absolution.
  3. to declare (censure, as excommunication) removed.
Origin of absolve
1525-35; < Latin absolvere, equivalent to ab- ab- + solvere to loosen; see solve
Related forms
absolvable, adjective
absolvent, adjective, noun
absolver, noun
unabsolved, adjective
1. exculpate, clear. Absolve, acquit, exonerate all mean to free from blame. Absolve is a general word for this idea. To acquit is to release from a specific and usually formal accusation: The court must acquit the accused if there is not enough evidence of guilt. To exonerate is to consider a person clear of blame or consequences for an act (even when the act is admitted), or to justify the person for having done it: to be exonerated for a crime committed in self-defense. 2. liberate, exempt. 3. excuse, forgive.
1. blame. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for absolve
  • Rulers must not be suffered thus to absolve themselves of their solemn responsibility.
  • Most people, if given the opportunity, will jump at the chance to absolve themselves of responsibility for their actions.
  • Being polite doesn't absolve us of the duty to speak the truth.
  • Whether a citation is upheld or dismissed does not absolve you from responsibility in the accident.
  • Menaced by ruthless cutthroats, he must risk his freedom to absolve himself.
  • The law doesn't absolve anyone of other charges like abuse or neglect.
  • But this fact does not absolve the Court of the duty to use its powers with the greatest care and restraint.
  • So far, contracts absolve the provider of any responsibility if things go wrong.
  • The causes cannot absolve him from solutions.
  • The fact that you don't know how to formulate a valid study doesn't absolve you from that responsibility.
British Dictionary definitions for absolve


verb (transitive)
(usually foll by from) to release from blame, sin, punishment, obligation, or responsibility
to pronounce not guilty; acquit; pardon
Derived Forms
absolvable, adjective
absolver, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin absolvere to free from, from ab-1 + solvere to make loose
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 absolve

early 15c., from Latin absolvere "set free, loosen, acquit," from ab- "from" (see ab-) + solvere "loosen" (see solve). Related: Absolved; absolving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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