- 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.
transitive verb-·cused′, -·cus′ing
- 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 of excuseMiddle English excusen from Old French escuser and Classical Latin excusare, to free from a charge from Classical Latin ex-, from + 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
a poor excuse for
- I am sorry; pardon me: a mild apology or a courteous request, as to allow one to pass
- please repeat or clarify what you just said: often spoken with the rising intonation of a question
- to ask that one's fault be overlooked; apologize
- to ask for permission to leave
make one's excuses
transitive verbex·cused, ex·cus·ing, ex·cus·es
- a. To make allowance for; overlook or forgive: Please excuse the interruption.b. To grant pardon to; forgive: We quickly excused the latecomer.
- a. To apologize for (oneself) for an act that could cause offense: She excused herself for being late.b. To explain (a fault or offense) in the hope of being forgiven or understood; try to justify: He arrived late and excused his tardiness by blaming it on the traffic. See Synonyms at forgive.
- To serve as justification for: Witty talk does not excuse bad manners.
- To free, as from an obligation or duty; exempt: She was excused from jury duty because she knew the plaintiff.
- 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 of excuseMiddle English excusen from Old French excuser from Latin excūsāre ex- ex- causa accusation ; see cause .
(third-person singular simple present excuses, present participle excusing, simple past and past participle excused)
- To forgive; to pardon.
- I excused him his transgressions.
- To allow to leave.
- May I be excused from the table?
- I excused myself from the proceedings to think over what I'd heard.
- To provide an excuse for; to explain, with the aim of alleviating guilt or negative judgement.
- You know he shouldn't have done it, so don't try to excuse his behavior!
- To relieve of an imputation by apology or defense; to make apology for as not seriously evil; to ask pardon or indulgence for.
- An explanation designed to avoid or alleviate guilt or negative judgment.
- Tell me why you were late – and I don't want to hear any excuses!
- (law) A defense to a criminal or civil charge wherein the accused party admits to doing acts for which legal consequences would normally be appropriate, but asserts that special circumstances relieve that party of culpability for having done those acts.
- (with negative adjective prepositioned, especially sorry or poor) An example.
- That thing is a poor excuse for a gingerbread man. Hasn't anyone taught you how to bake?
- He's a sorry excuse of a doctor.
- We often say to make an excuse.See also: Appendix:MakeDoTakeHave
excuse - Legal Definition