- kind indulgence, as in forgiveness of an offense or discourtesy or in tolerance of a distraction or inconvenience: I beg your pardon, but which way is Spruce Street?
- a release from the penalty of an offense; a remission of penalty, as by a governor.
- the document by which such remission is declared.
- forgiveness of a serious offense or offender.
- Obsolete. a papal indulgence.
- to make courteous allowance for or to excuse: Pardon me, madam.
- to release (a person) from liability for an offense.
- to remit the penalty of (an offense): The governor will not pardon your crime.
- (used, with rising inflection, as an elliptical form of I beg your pardon, as when asking a speaker to repeat something not clearly heard or understood.)
Origin of pardon
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for unpardonable
Despite these and other unpardonable sins, banks showers tens of millions of dollars in bonus money on top executives.Which Bank Is the Worst?
October 25, 2011
For any other combination of offences I would; but his were too unpardonable.The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
It would be unpardonable, it would be cruel, it would be wrong and wicked.The Eternal City
It was the old Hebrew curse—the punishment of the unpardonable sin.The Shadow of a Crime
The man's composure seemed to Willems an unpardonable insult.An Outcast of the Islands
That was what made for me its philosophical pretences so unpardonable.Notes on My Books
- not excusable; disgraceful
- to excuse or forgive (a person) for (an offence, mistake, etc)to pardon someone; to pardon a fault
- forgiveness; allowance
- release from punishment for an offence
- the warrant granting such release
- a Roman Catholic indulgence
- Also: pardon me, I beg your pardon
- sorry; excuse me
- what did you say?
Word Origin and History for unpardonable
mid-15c., "to forgive for offense or sin," from Old French pardoner (see pardon (n.)).
'I grant you pardon,' said Louis XV to Charolais, who, to divert himself, had just killed a man; 'but I also pardon whoever will kill you.' [Marquis de Sade, "Philosophy in the Bedroom"]
Related: Pardoned; pardoning. Pardon my French as exclamation of apology for obscene language is from 1895.
late 13c., "papal indulgence," from Old French pardon, from pardoner "to grant; forgive" (11c., Modern French pardonner), "to grant, forgive," from Vulgar Latin *perdonare "to give wholeheartedly, to remit," from Latin per- "through, thoroughly" (see per) + donare "give, present" (see donation).
Meaning "passing over an offense without punishment" is from c.1300, also in the strictly ecclesiastical sense; sense of "pardon for a civil or criminal offense; release from penalty or obligation" is from late 14c. earlier in Anglo-French. Weaker sense of "excuse for a minor fault" is attested from 1540s.