Simple Definition of vindicate
: to show that (someone) should not be blamed for a crime, mistake, etc. : to show that (someone) is not guilty
: to show that (someone or something that has been criticized or doubted) is correct, true, or reasonable
Full Definition of vindicate
Examples of vindicate in a sentence
She will be completely vindicated by the evidence.
These discoveries vindicate their theory.
Their approach to the problem has been vindicated by the positive results.
He felt vindicated when the truth became known.
Did You Know?
It's not surprising that the two earliest senses of "vindicate," which has been used in English since at least the mid-16th century, are "to set free" (a sense that is now obsolete) and "to avenge." Vindicate derives from Latin vindicatus, the past participle of the verb vindicare, meaning "to set free, avenge, or lay claim to." "Vindicare," in turn, derives from "vindex," a noun meaning "claimant" or "avenger." Other descendants of "vindicare" in English include such vengeful words as "avenge" itself, "revenge," "vengeance," "vendetta," and "vindictive." Closer cousins of "vindicate" are "vindicable" ("capable of being vindicated") and the archaic word vindicative ("punitive").
Origin of vindicate
Latin vindicatus, past participle of vindicare to lay claim to, avenge, from vindic-, vindex claimant, avenger
First Known Use: circa 1571
Synonym Discussion of vindicate
maintain, assert, defend, vindicate, justify mean to uphold as true, right, just, or reasonable. maintain stresses firmness of conviction <steadfastly maintained his innocence>. assert suggests determination to make others accept one's claim <asserted her rights>. defend implies maintaining in the face of attack or criticism <defended his voting record>. vindicate implies successfully defending <his success vindicated our faith in him>. justify implies showing to be true, just, or valid by appeal to a standard or to precedent <the action was used to justify military intervention>.
Rhymes with vindicate
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VINDICATE Defined for Kids
Definition of vindicate for Students
1 : to free from blame or guilt <The evidence will vindicate her.>
2 : to show to be true or correct <Later discoveries vindicated their claim.>
Seen and Heard
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