Word of the Day

Sunday, February 27, 2000

exculpate

\EK-skuhl-payt; ek-SKUHL-payt\ , transitive verb;
1.
To clear from alleged fault or guilt; to prove to be guiltless; to relieve of blame; to acquit.
Quotes:
Each member is determined to exculpate himself, to lay the blame elsewhere.
-- Joseph Wood Krutch, "How Will Posterity Rank O'Neill?", New York Times, October 21, 1956
At the same time, they said, representatives of the inspector general's office at the CIA were generally protective of the intelligence agents involved in the matter, highlighting evidence that seemed to exculpate them.
-- Tim Golden, "Guerrilla's Asylum Analyzed Amid Contradictory Claims", New York Times, December 12, 1996
He did so, having previously warned his friends and relations not to drink the water. 'He also declared that none of his community could exculpate themselves from this accusation, as the plot was communicated to all and all were guilty of the above charges.'
-- Philip Ziegler, Black Death
Origin:
Exculpate is ultimately derived from Latin ex-, "without" + culpare, "to blame," from culpa, "blame, fault."
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