transitive verb (-pated; -pating) Etymology: Medieval Latin exculpatus, past participle of exculpare, from Latin ex- + culpa blame Date: circa 1681 to clear from alleged fault or guilt • exculpation noun Synonyms: exculpate, absolve, exonerate, acquit, vindicate mean to free from a charge. exculpate implies a clearing from blame or fault often in a matter of small importance <
exculpating himself from the charge of overenthusiasm
. absolve implies a release either from an obligation that binds the conscience or from the consequences of disobeying the law or committing a sin <
cannot be absolved of blame
. exonerate implies a complete clearance from an accusation or charge and from any attendant suspicion of blame or guilt <
exonerated by the investigation
. acquit implies a formal decision in one's favor with respect to a definite charge <
voted to acquit the defendant
. vindicate may refer to things as well as persons that have been subjected to critical attack or imputation of guilt, weakness, or folly, and implies a clearing effected by proving the unfairness of such criticism or blame <
her judgment was vindicated

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • exculpate — ex·cul·pate / ek skəl ˌpāt, ek skəl / vt pat·ed, pat·ing [Medieval Latin exculpare, from Latin ex out of + culpa blame]: to clear from alleged fault or guilt a statement...offered to exculpate the accused is not admissible unless corroborating… …   Law dictionary

  • exculpate — exculpate, absolve, exonerate, acquit, vindicate mean to free from a charge or burden. Exculpate implies simply a clearing from blame, often in a matter of small importance {exculpate oneself from a charge of inconsistency} {directly Harding was… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Exculpate — Ex*cul pate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Exculpated}, p. pr. & vb. n.. {Exculpating} (?).] [L. ex out + culpatus, p. p. of culpare to find fault with, to blame, culpa fault. See {Culpable}.] To clear from alleged fault or guilt; to prove to be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • exculpate — 1650s, from M.L. exculpatus, pp. of exculpare, from L. ex culpa, from ex from + culpa abl. of culpa blame. Related: Exculpated; exculpating …   Etymology dictionary

  • exculpate — [v] forgive absolve, acquit, amnesty, clear, condone, discharge, disculpate, dismiss, excuse, exonerate, explain, free, justify, let off*, pardon, rationalize, release, remit, vindicate, wipe slate clean*; concepts 10,127,317 Ant. blame, condemn …   New thesaurus

  • exculpate — ► VERB formal ▪ show or declare to be not guilty of wrongdoing. DERIVATIVES exculpation noun exculpatory adjective. ORIGIN Latin exculpare free from blame …   English terms dictionary

  • exculpate — [eks′kəl pāt΄, iks′kul′pāt] vt. exculpated, exculpating [< L ex, out + culpatus, pp. of culpare, to blame < culpa, fault] to free from blame; declare or prove guiltless exculpable [ik skul′pə bəl] adj. exculpation n. exculpatory adj …   English World dictionary

  • exculpate — v. (formal) (D; tr.) to exculpate from * * * [ ekskʌlpeɪt] (formal) (D; tr.) to exculpate from …   Combinatory dictionary

  • exculpate — UK [ˈekskʌlpeɪt] / US [ˈekskʌlˌpeɪt] verb [transitive] Word forms exculpate : present tense I/you/we/they exculpate he/she/it exculpates present participle exculpating past tense exculpated past participle exculpated very formal to prove that… …   English dictionary

  • exculpate — exculpable /ik skul peuh beuhl/, adj. exculpation, n. /ek skul payt , ik skul payt/, v.t., exculpated, exculpating. to clear from a charge of guilt or fault; free from blame; vindicate. [1650 60; < L exculpatus freed from blame, equiv. to ex EX 1 …   Universalium

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