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[vin-di-keyt] /ˈvɪn dɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), vindicated, vindicating.
to clear, as from an accusation, imputation, suspicion, or the like:
to vindicate someone's honor.
to afford justification for; justify:
Subsequent events vindicated his policy.
to uphold or justify by argument or evidence:
to vindicate a claim.
to assert, maintain, or defend (a right, cause, etc.) against opposition.
to claim for oneself or another.
Roman and Civil Law. to regain possession, under claim of title of property through legal procedure, or to assert one's right to possession.
to get revenge for; avenge.
Obsolete. to deliver from; liberate.
Obsolete. to punish.
Origin of vindicate
1525-35; < Latin vindicātus (past participle of vindicāre to lay legal claim to (property), to free (someone) from servitude (by claiming him as free), to protect, avenge, punish), equivalent to vindic- (stem of vindex claimant, protector, avenger) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
vindicator, noun
revindicate, verb (used with object), revindicated, revindicating.
self-vindicated, adjective
self-vindicating, adjective
unvindicated, adjective
1. exonerate. 3, 4. support. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vindicate
  • Strict new fuel-economy standards will vindicate the business case.
  • He was never charged, and court records vindicate him.
  • He owed the publisher a popular book and he apparently feels no need to vindicate himself.
  • Every once in a while, you have a chance to vindicate all those best hopes you had about yourself.
  • There's enough truth in those charges to explain if not to vindicate them.
  • Every appearance goes to vindicate the conjecture that it has been in a state of eruption within less than five hundred years.
  • The merger was not necessary to permit the parties to achieve overriding efficiencies to vindicate the merger.
British Dictionary definitions for vindicate


verb (transitive)
to clear from guilt, accusation, blame, etc, as by evidence or argument
to provide justification for: his promotion vindicated his unconventional attitude
to uphold, maintain, or defend (a cause, etc): to vindicate a claim
(Roman law) to bring an action to regain possession of (property) under claim of legal title
(rare) to claim, as for oneself or another
(obsolete) to take revenge on or for; punish
(obsolete) to set free
Derived Forms
vindicator, noun
vindicatory, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vindicāre, from vindex claimant
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 vindicate

1620s, "to avenge or revenge," from Latin vindicatus, past participle of vindicare (see vindication). Meaning "to clear from censure or doubt, by means of demonstration" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Vindicated, vindicating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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