I. transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French escuser, excuser, from Latin excusare, from ex- + causa cause, explanation
Date: 13th century
a. to make apology for
b. to try to remove blame from
2. to forgive entirely or disregard as of trivial import ; regard as excusable <graciously excused his tardiness> 3. a. to grant exemption or release to <was excused from jury duty> b. to allow to leave <excused the class> 4. to serve as excuse for ; justify <nothing can excuse such neglect> • excusable adjective • excusableness noun • excusably adverb • excuser noun Synonyms: excuse, condone, pardon, forgive mean to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these <excuse an interruption> <excused them for interrupting>. Often the term implies extenuating circumstances <injustice excuses strong responses>. condone implies that one overlooks without censure behavior (as dishonesty or violence) that involves a serious breach of a moral, ethical, or legal code, and the term may refer to the behavior or to the agent responsible for it <a society that condones alcohol but not narcotics>. pardon implies that one remits a penalty due for an admitted or established offense <pardon a criminal>. forgive implies that one gives up all claim to requital and to resentment or vengeful feelings <could not forgive their rudeness>. II. noun Date: 14th century 1. the act of excusing 2. a. something offered as justification or as grounds for being excused b. plural an expression of regret for failure to do something c. a note of explanation of an absence 3. justification, reason Synonyms: see apology
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.