- to regard or judge with forgiveness or indulgence; pardon or forgive; overlook (a fault, error, etc.): Excuse his bad manners.
- to offer an apology for; seek to remove the blame of: He excused his absence by saying that he was ill.
- to serve as an apology or justification for; justify: Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
- to release from an obligation or duty: to be excused from jury duty.
- to seek or obtain exemption or release for (oneself): to excuse oneself from a meeting.
- to refrain from exacting; remit; dispense with: to excuse a debt.
- to allow (someone) to leave: If you'll excuse me, I have to make a telephone call.
- an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.: His excuse for being late was unacceptable.
- a ground or reason for excusing or being excused: Ignorance is no excuse.
- the act of excusing someone or something.
- a pretext or subterfuge: He uses his poor health as an excuse for evading all responsibility.
- an inferior or inadequate specimen of something specified: That coward is barely an excuse for a man. Her latest effort is a poor excuse for a novel.
- Excuse me, (used as a polite expression, as when addressing a stranger, when interrupting or disagreeing with someone, or to request repetition of what has just been said.)
Origin of excuse
Synonyms for excuseSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for excusabledefensible, explainable, fair, forgivable, justifiable, minor, moderate, okay, pardonable, passable, permissible, plausible, reasonable, slight, specious, temperate, tenable, trivial, understandable, venial
Examples from the Web for excusable
Contemporary Examples of excusable
Why are Palestinians granted a license of bloodlust as an excusable remedy for their suffering?There Is No Moral Equivalent to the Murder of Three Israeli Teenagers
July 2, 2014
And what, exactly, would an excusable yearning be as opposed to an “inexcusable” one?Berlusconi Exits, and an Era of Sexist Buffoonery Is Over
November 17, 2011
Historical Examples of excusable
And in this he was excusable, since it was impossible for him to understand it without ceasing to be himself.The Secret Agent
Mame punctuates this monologue with a regular and excusable "My land!"The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
Fighting's a bad thing in general, but you are excusable, my lad, you are excusable.The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys
When one has seen him, everything is excusable and everything is right.The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete
Madame La Marquise De Montespan
It was excusable for her to slack a little on Monday after drudging all through the week.L'Assommoir
- to pardon or forgivehe always excuses her unpunctuality
- to seek pardon or exemption for (a person, esp oneself)to excuse oneself for one's mistakes
- to make allowances for; judge lenientlyto excuse someone's ignorance
- to serve as an apology or explanation for; vindicate or justifyher age excuses her behaviour
- to exempt from a task, obligation, etcyou are excused making breakfast
- to dismiss or allow to leavehe asked them to excuse him
- to seek permission for (someone, esp oneself) to leavehe excused himself and left
- be excused euphemistic to go to the lavatory
- excuse me! an expression used to catch someone's attention or to apologize for an interruption, disagreement, or social indiscretion
- an explanation offered in defence of some fault or offensive behaviour or as a reason for not fulfilling an obligation, etche gave no excuse for his rudeness
- informal an inferior example of something specified; makeshift; substituteshe is a poor excuse for a hostess
- the act of excusing
Word Origin for excuse
late 14c., from Old French escusable, from Latin excusabilis, from excusare (see excuse (v.)). Related: Excusably.
early 13c., "attempt to clear (someone) from blame," from Old French escuser (12c., Modern French excuser) "apologize, make excuses; pardon, exonerate," from Latin excusare "excuse, make an excuse for, release from a charge," from ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + causa "accusation, legal action" (see cause).
Meaning "to obtain exemption or release" is from mid-15c.; that of "to accept another's plea of excuse" is from early 14c. Excuse me as a mild apology or statement of polite disagreement is from c.1600.
late 14c., "action of offering an apology," from Old French excuse, from excuser (see excuse (v.)). The sense of "that serves as a reason for being excused" is recorded from late 15c.