acquit

[ uh-kwit ]
/ əˈkwɪt /

WATCH NOW: What Does "Acquit" Actually Mean?

WATCH NOW: What Does "Acquit" Actually Mean?

Armchair lawyers and judges will remember this phrase from the 90s: If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit! But, what does "acquit" actually mean?

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verb (used with object), ac·quit·ted, ac·quit·ting.

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.
to release or discharge (a person) from an obligation.
to settle or satisfy (a debt, obligation, claim, etc.).
to bear or conduct (oneself); behave: He acquitted himself well in battle.
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)

Synonym study

1. See absolve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acquit

British Dictionary definitions for acquit

acquit

/ (əˈkwɪt) /

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

(foll by of)
  1. to free or release (from a charge of crime)
  2. to pronounce not guilty
(foll by of) to free or relieve (from an obligation, duty, responsibility, etc)
to repay or settle (something, such as a debt or obligation)
to perform (one's part); conduct (oneself)

Derived Formsacquitter, noun

Word Origin for acquit

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