[ek-skuhl-peyt, ik-skuhl-peyt]
See more synonyms for exculpate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), ex·cul·pat·ed, ex·cul·pat·ing.
  1. to clear from a charge of guilt or fault; free from blame; vindicate.

Origin of exculpate

1650–60; < Latin exculpātus freed from blame, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + culpātus blamed (past participle of culpāre; see culpable)
Related formsex·cul·pa·ble [ik-skuhl-puh-buh l] /ɪkˈskʌl pə bəl/, adjectiveex·cul·pa·tion, nounnon·ex·cul·pa·ble, adverbnon·ex·cul·pa·tion, nounself-ex·cul·pa·tion, nounun·ex·cul·pa·ble, adjectiveun·ex·cul·pat·ed, adjective
Can be confusedexculpate exonerate inculpate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for exculpation

excuse, exoneration, acquittal, vindication, acquittance

Examples from the Web for exculpation

Historical Examples of exculpation

British Dictionary definitions for exculpation


  1. (tr) to free from blame or guilt; vindicate or exonerate
Derived Formsexculpable (ɪkˈskʌlpəbəl), adjectiveexculpation, nounexculpatory, adjective

Word Origin for exculpate

C17: from Medieval Latin exculpāre, from Latin ex- 1 + culpāre to blame, from culpa fault, blame
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 exculpation

1715, noun of action from exculpate.



1650s, from Medieval Latin exculpatus, past participle of exculpare, from Latin ex culpa, from ex "from" (see ex-) + culpa ablative of culpa "blame, fault." Related: Exculpated; exculpating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper