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acquittal

[uh-kwit-l] /əˈkwɪt l/
noun
1.
the act of acquitting; discharge.
2.
the state of being acquitted; release.
3.
the discharge or settlement of a debt, obligation, etc.
4.
Law. judicial deliverance from a criminal charge on a verdict or finding of not guilty.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English a(c)quitaille < Anglo-French; see acquit, -al2
Related forms
nonacquittal, noun
preacquittal, noun
proacquittal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for acquittal
  • It is thanks to the courts' strict interpretation of this rule that many high-profile cases have ended in acquittal.
  • Even the prosecution had moved for acquittal during the initial trial, saying it had been persuaded by the defense position.
  • The friends of acquittal were light hearted for they also knew his last condition.
  • Conviction does nothing to restore lost innocence, and acquittal seldom vindicates the right.
  • They said they would use last night's acquittal to bolster their position that the police visit to the apartment was unwarranted.
  • Last week, they filed a motion for a retrial or an acquittal, claiming insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction.
British Dictionary definitions for acquittal

acquittal

/əˈkwɪtəl/
noun
1.
(criminal law) the deliverance and release of a person appearing before a court on a charge of crime, as by a finding of not guilty
2.
a discharge or release from an obligation, duty, debt, etc
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 acquittal
n.

early 15c., "payment of debt or retribution;" see acquit + -al (2). Sense of "a release from debt or obligation" is from mid-15c.; that of "freeing from charge or offense" (by legal process) is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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acquittal in Culture

acquittal definition


The judgment of a court that a person charged with a crime is not guilty.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for acquittal

in criminal law, acknowledgment by the court of the innocence of the defendant or defendants. Such a judgment may be made by a jury in a trial or by a judge who rules that there is insufficient evidence either for conviction or for further proceedings. An acquittal removes all guilt in law. An acquittal "in fact" occurs when a jury finds the defendant not guilty. An acquittal "in law" occurs through the mere operation of law. For instance, if the principal in a case is acquitted, an accessory also is deemed acquitted in law

Learn more about acquittal with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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