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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

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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Word Origin and History for proacquittal

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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proacquittal 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 proacquittal

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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