- to free from guilt or blame or their consequences: The court absolved her of guilt in his death.
- to set free or release, as from some duty, obligation, or responsibility (usually followed by from): to be absolved from one's oath.
- to grant pardon for.
- to grant or pronounce remission of sins to.
- to remit (a sin) by absolution.
- to declare (censure, as excommunication) removed.
Origin of absolve
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsacquit, vindicate, pardon, relieve, forgive, exempt, exonerate, exculpate, whitewash, spring, clear, loose, free, excuse, launder, spare, sanitize, bleach, release, discharge
Examples from the Web for absolve
Many were just eager to forget, absolve, or overlook serious accusations, simply because doing so would be hugely convenient.It’s Not Just Cosby: Hollywood’s Long List of Male Scumbags
November 19, 2014
Yet the essay does not absolve the Left from paranoid thinking.Paranoia Crept into American Political Life a Long Time Ago
October 19, 2014
On the one hand, he is trying to absolve Skyler of his sins.The 17 Most Iconic Scenes in ‘Breaking Bad’ (VIDEO)
September 29, 2013
Social media, Sharif emphasized, has been an indispensable tool for Saudi women “to absolve the gender apartheid.”Aung San Suu Kyi Meets Her Peers
September 30, 2012
Will they absolve him of stealing papal documents and leaking them to the press, and let him go?Will the Pope’s Former Butler, Paolo Gabriele, Pay in a Vatileaks Trial?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
July 24, 2012
Were I to be queen of the universe, that dignity should not absolve me from my duty to you and to my father.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
That would be to absolve him from living, since it is life itself that is the burden.
There is no suggestion here that religion will absolve any man from bearing burdens.
But I may also neglect this reflex standard and absolve me to myself.
Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.
- (usually foll by from) to release from blame, sin, punishment, obligation, or responsibility
- to pronounce not guilty; acquit; pardon
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 absolve
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper