[ ig-zon-uh-reyt ]
/ ɪgˈzɒn əˌreɪt /

verb (used with object), ex·on·er·at·ed, ex·on·er·at·ing.

to clear, as of an accusation; free from guilt or blame; exculpate: He was exonerated from the accusation of cheating.
to relieve, as from an obligation, duty, or task.

Origin of exonerate

1515–25; late Middle English < Latin exonerātus (past participle of exonerāre to unburden, discharge), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + oner- (stem of onus) a burden + -ātus -ate1

Related forms

Can be confused

exculpate exonerate inculpate

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for exoneration

British Dictionary definitions for exoneration


/ (ɪɡˈzɒnəˌreɪt) /

verb (tr)

to clear or absolve from blame or a criminal charge
to relieve from an obligation or task; exempt

Derived Forms

exoneration, nounexonerative, adjectiveexonerator, noun

Word Origin for exonerate

C16: from Latin exonerāre to free from a burden, from onus a burden
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