[ uh-kwit ]
See synonyms for acquit on
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.

  1. to settle or satisfy (a debt, obligation, claim, etc.).

  2. to bear or conduct (oneself); behave: He acquitted himself well in battle.

  3. to free or clear (oneself): He acquitted himself of suspicion.

Origin of acquit

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English aquiten, from Anglo-French, Old French (ac)quiter, derivative, with a(c)- “toward” (see ac-), from quite “free of obligations,” from Medieval Latin quit(t)us, Latin quiētus (see quiet); cf. quit1

synonym study For acquit

1. See absolve.

Other words for acquit

Opposites for acquit

Other words from acquit

  • ac·quit·ter, noun
  • pre·ac·quit, verb (used with object), pre·ac·quit·ted, pre·ac·quit·ting.

Words that may be confused with acquit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use acquit in a sentence

  • Even when the slaveholder honestly acquits himself of cruelty, he may be criminal.

    Slavery | William E. Channing
  • The editor of The Times generously acquits us of all joint snapping, and I think we can very easily dispose of his explanation.

British Dictionary definitions for acquit


/ (əˈkwɪt) /

verb-quits, -quitting or -quitted (tr)
  1. (foll by of)

    • to free or release (from a charge of crime)

    • to pronounce not guilty

  2. (foll by of) to free or relieve (from an obligation, duty, responsibility, etc)

  1. to repay or settle (something, such as a debt or obligation)

  2. to perform (one's part); conduct (oneself)

Origin of acquit

C13: from Old French aquiter, from quiter to release, free from, quit

Derived forms of acquit

  • acquitter, noun

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