excuse me

excuse

[v. ik-skyooz; n. ik-skyoos]
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; (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

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

alibi, excuse (see usage note at alibi)(see synonym study at the current entry).


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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World English Dictionary
excuse
 
vb
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
 
n
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
 
[C13: from Latin excusāre, from ex-1 + -cūsare, from causa cause, accusation]
 
ex'cusable
 
adj
 
ex'cusableness
 
n
 
ex'cusably
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

excuse me

  1. Also, I beg your pardon, pardon me. Forgive me, as in Excuse me, please let me pass, or Pardon me for asking, or I beg your pardon, I don't think so. These phrases are used as an apology for interrupting a conversation, bumping into someone, asking a speaker to repeat something, politely disagreeing with something said, and so on. The first dates from about 1600, the first variant from about 1800, the second from the mid-1700s.

  2. Also, excuse oneself. Allow or ask to leave or be released from an obligation. For example, Please excuse me, I have to leave now, or I asked the judge to excuse me from jury duty. [1920s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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