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absolve

[ab-zolv, -solv]
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verb (used with object), ab·solved, ab·solv·ing.
  1. to free from guilt or blame or their consequences: The court absolved her of guilt in his death.
  2. to set free or release, as from some duty, obligation, or responsibility (usually followed by from): to be absolved from one's oath.
  3. to grant pardon for.
  4. Ecclesiastical.
    1. to grant or pronounce remission of sins to.
    2. to remit (a sin) by absolution.
    3. to declare (censure, as excommunication) removed.

Origin of absolve

1525–35; < Latin absolvere, equivalent to ab- ab- + solvere to loosen; see solve
Related formsab·solv·a·ble, adjectiveab·sol·vent, adjective, nounab·solv·er, nounun·ab·solved, adjective

Synonyms

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1. exculpate, clear. 2. liberate, exempt. 3. excuse, forgive.

Synonym study

1. Absolve, acquit, exonerate all mean to free from blame. Absolve is a general word for this idea. To acquit is to release from a specific and usually formal accusation: The court must acquit the accused if there is not enough evidence of guilt. To exonerate is to consider a person clear of blame or consequences for an act (even when the act is admitted), or to justify the person for having done it: to be exonerated for a crime committed in self-defense.

Antonyms

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

Examples from the Web for unabsolved

Historical Examples

  • The slain man died, unabsolved, in the commission of mortal sin.

    The Queen of Hearts

    Wilkie Collins

  • Now, if ministers are wanting, what ruin awaits those, who depart from this life unregenerate or unabsolved!

  • Then he died (priestless, of course, and unabsolved) cursing God and crying piteously for help from the devil.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony

    William Stearns Davis

  • Adrienne Lecouvreur sank back upon the pillows, dead—and unabsolved.

    Superwomen

    Albert Payson Terhune

  • But for some dreadful and unabsolved crime, a holy man of those days whelmed all beneath the deep waters.


British Dictionary definitions for unabsolved

absolve

verb (tr)
  1. (usually foll by from) to release from blame, sin, punishment, obligation, or responsibility
  2. to pronounce not guilty; acquit; pardon
Derived Formsabsolvable, adjectiveabsolver, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin absolvere to free from, from ab- 1 + solvere to make loose
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 unabsolved

absolve

v.

early 15c., from Latin absolvere "set free, loosen, acquit," from ab- "from" (see ab-) + solvere "loosen" (see solve). Related: Absolved; absolving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper