noun \ˈpär-dən\

: an act of officially saying that someone who was judged to be guilty of a crime will be allowed to go free and will not be punished

: forgiveness for something

Full Definition of PARDON

:  indulgence 1
:  the excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty
a :  a release from the legal penalties of an offense
b :  an official warrant of remission of penalty
:  excuse or forgiveness for a fault, offense, or discourtesy <I beg your pardon>

Examples of PARDON

  1. The governor granted him a pardon.
  2. He asked my pardon for taking so much of my time.

Origin of PARDON

Middle English, from Anglo-French pardun, pardoun, from parduner
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with PARDON



: to officially say that someone who is guilty of a crime will be allowed to go free and will not be punished

: to say that someone should not be blamed for thinking, doing, or saying something

: to officially say that a person, country, etc., does not have to pay (a debt)

par·donedpar·don·ing \ˈpärd-niŋ, ˈpär-dən-iŋ\

Full Definition of PARDON

transitive verb
a :  to absolve from the consequences of a fault or crime
b :  to allow (an offense) to pass without punishment :  forgive
c :  to relieve of a penalty improperly assessed
:  tolerate

Examples of PARDON

  1. <he eventually pardoned his sister for interfering in his marriage>
  2. <I'm willing to pardon a little sloppiness of dress in such a kind and loving person.>

Origin of PARDON

Middle English, from Anglo-French parduner, from Late Latin perdonare to grant freely, from Latin per- thoroughly + donare to give — more at parboil, donation
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

Rhymes with PARDON


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In law, release from guilt or remission of punishment. The power to pardon is generally exercised by the state's chief executive officer. A pardon may be full or conditional. A conditional pardon imposes a lesser punishment or some other obligation. Some states still bar pardoned offenders from holding public office or obtaining professional licenses.


Next Word in the Dictionary: pardonable
Previous Word in the Dictionary: pardo
All Words Near: pardon

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up pardon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).