View synonyms for vindicate


[ vin-di-keyt ]

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.

    Synonyms: exonerate

  2. to afford justification for; justify:

    Subsequent events vindicated his policy.

  3. to uphold or justify by argument or evidence:

    to vindicate a claim.

    Synonyms: substantiate

  4. to assert, maintain, or defend (a right, cause, etc.) against opposition.

    Synonyms: substantiate

  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.


/ ˈvɪndɪˌkeɪt /


  1. to clear from guilt, accusation, blame, etc, as by evidence or argument
  2. to provide justification for

    his 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
“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

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Derived Forms

  • ˈvindiˌcator, noun
  • ˈvindiˌcatory, adjective
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Other Words From

  • vin·di·ca·tor noun
  • re·vin·di·cate verb (used with object) revindicated revindicating
  • self-vin·di·cat·ed adjective
  • self-vin·di·cat·ing adjective
  • un·vin·di·cat·ed adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of vindicate1

First recorded in 1525–35; from 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 -ate 1
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Word History and Origins

Origin of vindicate1

C17: from Latin vindicāre, from vindex claimant
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Example Sentences

Barrios said Monday that his opponent, San Diego Community College Trustee Sean Elo-Rivera, was behind the allegations of financial impropriety, but erroneously claimed that he had already been vindicated by four different organizations.

Late Monday, Barrios issued a press release defending himself, in which he made four specific claims about the various entities that had already vindicated him of the charges.

After the Union-Tribune reported he was under criminal investigation, Kelvin Barrios, a candidate in the District 9 City Council race, issued a press release announcing four ways in which he had been vindicated.

Let’s go after the bad guys, even those who committed these violations two or three years ago, beyond the previous statute of limitations, and make sure that the consumer interest is vindicated here.

Maybe at some level, we may be drawn to those stories perhaps because they may seem to vindicate our own failures to intervene in some cases.

The present needs to vindicate the president, whoever he or she may be.

And even if that was true, it wouldn't vindicate a disparity that plainly affected her and presumably other women at the paper.

Failing to vindicate a loss or injury is a sign of faulty moral character.

Some top White House aide is dispatched to tell us pooh-poohers that events ultimate will vindicate the president.

History, the White House always says, will vindicate the president.

I thought it not convenient to vindicate him much now, but time will serve when I will do it, and I am bound to do it.

She could not vindicate her friend without criminating her father.

But I cannot vindicate Kingston society against the charge of surpassing dulness.

I write this story not to vindicate my own wit nor to point out new paths for human thought to follow.

In this manner did Providence take the cunning persecutor in his own snare, and vindicate the cause of his oppressed people.