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acquit

[uh-kwit]
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verb (used with object), ac·quit·ted, ac·quit·ting.
  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

1200–50; 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 formsac·quit·ter, nounpre·ac·quit, verb (used with object), pre·ac·quit·ted, pre·ac·quit·ting.un·ac·quit·ted, adjective
Can be confusedacquitted innocent nolo contendere (see synonym study at innocent)

Synonyms

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1. exculpate. 2. free.

Synonym study

1. See absolve.

Antonyms

1. convict.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

verb -quits, -quitting or -quitted (tr)
  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 Formsacquitter, 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

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