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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from acquit

acquitter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for acquit

Synonyms

absolve, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate

Antonyms

criminate, incriminate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 was acquitted of all charges related to the 2002 indictment in 2008 when his accuser failed to testify. Bridget Read, Vogue, "R. Kelly Could Be Indicted Soon Based on a New VHS Tape," 14 Feb. 2019 The owners, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, were acquitted of manslaughter. Elizabeth Yuan, WSJ, "Philharmonic Piece Inspired by Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Set to Debut," 23 Jan. 2019 Espy was acquitted of bribery charges in the 1990s, and that could still dog him. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The 2018 midterm races that still aren’t over," 14 Nov. 2018 My client's fiance Sandra Duran was killed by a man who is here illegally, who had been deported seven times, convicted of five felonies, last month he was tried and acquitted -- not acquitted. Fox News, "Scaramucci, McCarthy on if Cohen, Manafort cases hurt Trump," 21 Aug. 2018 Four Mexican men, including Tijuana’s former chief of police, later were tried in court and acquitted on all charges. sandiegouniontribune.com, "Peteet family found dead," 7 Feb. 2018 While Andrew's daughter, Lizzie, was tried and acquitted of the gruesome murders in one of the most famous trials of the era, the case remains unsolved to this day. Lyndsey Matthews, Country Living, "I Spent the Night in the Lizzie Borden House—Here's What Happened," 12 Oct. 2017 He was tried in Martinsville and acquitted on Sept. 16, 1912. Indianapolis Star, "Officers killed in the line of duty," 6 July 2014 In November of 1981, Nichopoulos was charged with 11 felony counts of overprescribing drugs, but was acquitted. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Inside the Enduring Mysteries of Elvis Presley's Death," 16 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about acquit

Statistics for acquit

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for acquit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on acquit

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!