verb ab·solve \əb-ˈzälv, -ˈsälv, -ˈzlv, -ˈslv also without l\

: to make (someone) free from guilt, responsibility, etc.

: to give forgiveness to (someone who has sinned) or for (a sin)


Full Definition of ABSOLVE

transitive verb
:  to set free from an obligation or the consequences of guilt
:  to remit (a sin) by absolution
ab·solv·er noun

Examples of ABSOLVE

  1. <no amount of remorse will absolve shoplifters who are caught, and all cases will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law>

Origin of ABSOLVE

Middle English, from Latin absolvere, from ab- + solvere to loosen — more at solve
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of ABSOLVE

exculpate, absolve, exonerate, acquit, vindicate mean to free from a charge. exculpate implies a clearing from blame or fault often in a matter of small importance <exculpating himself from the charge of overenthusiasm>. absolve implies a release either from an obligation that binds the conscience or from the consequences of disobeying the law or committing a sin <cannot be absolved of blame>. exonerate implies a complete clearance from an accusation or charge and from any attendant suspicion of blame or guilt <exonerated by the investigation>. acquit implies a formal decision in one's favor with respect to a definite charge <voted to acquit the defendant>. vindicate may refer to things as well as persons that have been subjected to critical attack or imputation of guilt, weakness, or folly, and implies a clearing effected by proving the unfairness of such criticism or blame <her judgment was vindicated>.
ABSOLVE Defined for Kids


verb ab·solve \əb-ˈzälv, -ˈsälv\

Definition of ABSOLVE for Kids

:  to make free from guilt or responsibility <He was absolved of wrongdoing.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: absolvitorPrevious Word in the Dictionary: absolutizeAll Words Near: absolve
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