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acquit

[uh-kwit] /əˈkwɪt/
verb (used with object), acquitted, acquitting.
1.
to relieve from a charge of fault or crime; declare not guilty:
They acquitted him of the crime. The jury acquitted her, but I still think she's guilty.
2.
to release or discharge (a person) from an obligation.
3.
to settle or satisfy (a debt, obligation, claim, etc.).
4.
to bear or conduct (oneself); behave:
He acquitted himself well in battle.
5.
to free or clear (oneself):
He acquitted himself of suspicion.
Origin of acquit
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English aquiten < Anglo-French, Old French a(c)quiter, derivative, with a(c)- ac-, of quite free of obligations < Medieval Latin quit(t)us, Latin quiētus quiet1; cf. quit1
Related forms
acquitter, noun
preacquit, verb (used with object), preacquitted, preacquitting.
unacquitted, adjective
Can be confused
acquitted, innocent, nolo contendere (see synonym study at innocent)
Synonyms
1. exculpate. 2. free.
Antonyms
1. convict.
Synonym Study
1. See absolve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for acquit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Edricson, if God spare you, I think that you will acquit yourself well.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • In this way, and in this way only, he may acquit himself and free others from the work of legislation.

    Laws Plato
  • Don't forget that if you acquit him, you'll be sorely puzzled to convict the other.'

  • As to the parsons, I must acquit them honestly of any portion of this charge.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • "I 'll try and acquit myself with credit," said she, as she sat down to the writing-desk.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for acquit

acquit

/əˈkwɪt/
verb (transitive) -quits, -quitting, -quitted
1.
(foll by of)
  1. to free or release (from a charge of crime)
  2. to pronounce not guilty
2.
(foll by of) to free or relieve (from an obligation, duty, responsibility, etc)
3.
to repay or settle (something, such as a debt or obligation)
4.
to perform (one's part); conduct (oneself)
Derived Forms
acquitter, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French aquiter, from quiter to release, free from, quit
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 acquit
v.

early 13c., "to satisfy a debt" (either for oneself or on behalf of another), from Old French aquiter "pay, pay up, settle a claim" (12c.), from à "to" (see ad-) + quite "free, clear" (see quit (adj.)). Meanings "set free from charges" and "to discharge one's duty" both recorded from late 14c. Related: Acquitted; acquitting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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