- The definition of an excuse is an explanation or a reason for an action.
An example of an excuse is a student saying that his dog ate his homework.
- Excuse is defined as to forgive, pardon or free from an obligation.
An example of to excuse is to allow a child to leave the table after dinner.
excuse definition by Webster's New World
- to try to free (a person) of blame; seek to exonerate
- to try to minimize or pardon (a fault); apologize or give reasons for
- to consider (an offense or fault) as not important; overlook; pardon: excuse my rudeness
- to release from an obligation, duty, promise, etc.
- to permit to leave
- to serve as an explanation or justification for; justify; exculpate; absolve: a selfish act that nothing will excuse
Origin: Middle English excusen ; from Old French escuser and amp; Classical Latin excusare, to free from a charge ; from Classical Latin ex-, from plush causa, a charge: see cause
- a plea in defense of or explanation for some action or behavior; apology
- a release from obligation, duty, etc.
- something that excuses; extenuating or justifying factor
- a pretended reason for conduct; pretext
excuse definition by American Heritage Dictionary
transitive verb ex·cused, ex·cus·ing, ex·cus·es
- a. To explain (a fault or an offense) in the hope of being forgiven or understood: He arrived late and excused his tardiness in a flimsy manner.b. To apologize for (oneself) for an act that could cause offense: She excused herself for being late.
- a. To grant pardon to; forgive: We quickly excused the latecomer.b. To make allowance for; overlook: Readers must excuse the author's youth and inexperience. See Synonyms at forgive.
- To serve as justification for: Brilliance does not excuse bad manners.
- To free, as from an obligation or duty; exempt: In my state, physicians and lawyers are excused from jury duty.
- To give permission to leave; release: The child ate quickly and asked to be excused.
- An explanation offered to justify or obtain forgiveness.
- A reason or grounds for excusing: Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.
- The act of excusing.
- A note explaining an absence.
- Informal An inferior example: a poor excuse for a poet; a sorry excuse for a car.
Origin: Middle English excusen, from Old French excuser, from Latin excūsāre : ex-, ex- + causa, accusation; see cause.
- ex·cusˈa·ble adjective
- ex·cusˈa·ble·ness noun
- ex·cusˈa·bly adverb
- ex·cusˈer noun
excuse - Legal Definition
excuse - Phrases/Idioms
a poor excuse foror a bad excuse for
- to ask that one's fault be overlooked; apologize
- to ask for permission to leave
make one's excuses
- Used to acknowledge and ask forgiveness for an action that could cause offense.
- Used to request that a statement be repeated.