acquit

verb
ac·​quit | \ ə-ˈkwit How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
acquitted; acquitting

Definition of acquit

transitive verb

1 : to discharge completely (as from an accusation or obligation) The court acquitted the prisoner.
2 : to conduct (oneself) usually satisfactorily especially under stress The recruits acquitted themselves like veterans.
3a archaic : to pay off (something, such as a claim or debt)
b obsolete : repay, requite

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Other Words from acquit

acquitter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for acquit

Synonyms

absolve, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate

Antonyms

criminate, incriminate

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Choose the Right Synonym for acquit

behave, conduct, deport, comport, acquit mean to act or to cause oneself to do something in a certain way. behave may apply to the meeting of a standard of what is proper or decorous. the children behaved in church conduct implies action or behavior that shows the extent of one's power to control or direct oneself. conducted herself with unfailing good humor deport implies behaving so as to show how far one conforms to conventional rules of discipline or propriety. the hero deported himself in accord with the code of chivalry comport suggests conduct measured by what is expected or required of one in a certain class or position. comported themselves as gentlemen acquit applies to action under stress that deserves praise or meets expectations. acquitted herself well in her first assignment

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

Examples of acquit in a Sentence

The jury acquitted the defendant because there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of the crime. acquitted of the robbery charge after proving he was nowhere near the scene of the crime

Recent Examples on the Web

Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has denied allegations of abuse. Cindy Martin, The Seattle Times, "Henson and Badu say comments on R. Kelly misrepresented," 29 Jan. 2019 He was indicted on charges of child pornography, but was acquitted in 2008. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "R. Kelly Is Reportedly Under Criminal Investigation," 8 Jan. 2019 Prosecutors charged six police officers for Gray’s death but abandoned the case after three were acquitted. Brad Heath, USA TODAY, "Baltimore police stopped noticing crime after Freddie Gray's death. A wave of killings followed.," 12 July 2018 A month after Zimmerman was acquitted the hashtag had been shared 52,000 times on Twitter, and by June of the following year, that number had skyrocketed to 41 million. Hannah Chubb, Marie Claire, "Hashtag Activism: A Timeline," 24 May 2018 The former New England Patriots player was serving life in prison, but had been acquitted of a second murder just days before his death. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Aaron Hernandez's suicide notes to lawyer, fiancée and daughter revealed," 19 Aug. 2018 The jury acquitted him of the firearm charges, but convicted him of the drug charges. Michael Harriot, The Root, "‘Evilest White Woman on Earth’: The Criminal Injustice of Terra Morehead," 6 June 2018 The Teamsters members had been acquitted in that trial, and Brissette denied any wrongdoing. Milton J. Valencia, BostonGlobe.com, "City Hall employees in Boston Calling trial will not face internal discipline," 23 Mar. 2018 The jury acquitted Norris, but a judge revoked his withheld judgment on the robbery case and set his probation back to the original 10-year sentence. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "He said he was on a path to 'positive change.' Then came prison time, & the shootout," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acquit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acquit

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for acquit

Middle English aquiten, borrowed from Anglo-French aquiter, from a-, prefix forming transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + -quiter, verbal derivative of quite "free, discharged" — more at quit entry 1

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Statistics for acquit

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for acquit

The first known use of acquit was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for acquit

acquit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of acquit

: to decide that someone is not guilty of a crime

acquit

verb
ac·​quit | \ ə-ˈkwit How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
acquitted; acquitting

Kids Definition of acquit

1 : to declare innocent of a crime or of wrongdoing
2 : to behave in a certain way You are to acquit yourselves as young ladies and gentlemen.

acquit

verb
ac·​quit | \ ə-ˈkwit How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
acquitted; acquitting

Legal Definition of acquit

transitive verb

: to discharge completely: as
a : to release from liability for a debt or other obligation usually used in agreements forever release, acquit, and discharge each other
b : to absolve (a criminal defendant) of a charge by judicial process
c : to clear of wrongdoing the fact…does not acquit them of misrepresentationIn re Hiller, 694 P.2d 540 (1985)

intransitive verb

: to absolve a defendant of criminal liability must acquit if any reasonable doubt existedCommonwealth v. Gagliardi, 638 N.E.2d 20 (1994) — compare convict

History and Etymology for acquit

Old French acquiter to pay off, absolve, acquit, from a-, prefix marking causation + quite free (of an obligation)

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More from Merriam-Webster on acquit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with acquit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for acquit

Spanish Central: Translation of acquit

Nglish: Translation of acquit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acquit for Arabic Speakers

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