verb (used with object), vin·di·cat·ed, vin·di·cat·ing.
  1. to clear, as from an accusation, imputation, suspicion, or the like: to vindicate someone's honor.
  2. to afford justification for; justify: Subsequent events vindicated his policy.
  3. to uphold or justify by argument or evidence: to vindicate a claim.
  4. to assert, maintain, or defend (a right, cause, etc.) against opposition.
  5. to claim for oneself or another.
  6. Roman and Civil Law. to regain possession, under claim of title of property through legal procedure, or to assert one's right to possession.
  7. to get revenge for; avenge.
  8. Obsolete. to deliver from; liberate.
  9. Obsolete. to punish.

Origin of vindicate

1525–35; < Latin vindicātus (past participle of vindicāre to lay legal claim to (property), to free (someone) from servitude (by claiming him as free), to protect, avenge, punish), equivalent to vindic- (stem of vindex claimant, protector, avenger) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsvin·di·ca·tor, nounre·vin·di·cate, verb (used with object), re·vin·di·cat·ed, re·vin·di·cat·ing.self-vin·di·cat·ed, adjectiveself-vin·di·cat·ing, adjectiveun·vin·di·cat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for vindicate

1. exonerate. 3, 4. support. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unvindicated

Contemporary Examples of unvindicated

  • I doubt the letters of the unvindicated who wrote, begging for a fresh look at the evidence, seemed any less sincere.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Myth of the Central Park Five

    Edward Conlon

    October 19, 2014

Historical Examples of unvindicated

British Dictionary definitions for unvindicated


verb (tr)
  1. to clear from guilt, accusation, blame, etc, as by evidence or argument
  2. to provide justification forhis promotion vindicated his unconventional attitude
  3. to uphold, maintain, or defend (a cause, etc)to vindicate a claim
  4. Roman law to bring an action to regain possession of (property) under claim of legal title
  5. rare to claim, as for oneself or another
  6. obsolete to take revenge on or for; punish
  7. obsolete to set free
Derived Formsvindicator, nounvindicatory, adjective

Word Origin for vindicate

C17: from Latin vindicāre, from vindex claimant
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 unvindicated



1620s, "to avenge or revenge," from Latin vindicatus, past participle of vindicare (see vindication). Meaning "to clear from censure or doubt, by means of demonstration" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Vindicated, vindicating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper