What word does your mother always say?


[uh-kwit-l] /əˈkwɪt l/
the act of acquitting; discharge.
the state of being acquitted; release.
the discharge or settlement of a debt, obligation, etc.
Law. judicial deliverance from a criminal charge on a verdict or finding of not guilty.
Origin of acquittal
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English a(c)quitaille < Anglo-French; see acquit, -al2
Related forms
nonacquittal, noun
preacquittal, noun
proacquittal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
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


(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
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for acquittal

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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for acquittal

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for acquittal

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with acquittal