acquit

verb
ac·​quit | \ə-ˈkwit \
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

Espy comes with some baggage after being acquitted of bribery charges in the 1990s. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy advance to Mississippi Senate runoff election," 7 Nov. 2018 Some who did were acquitted or the juries couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. Michael Tarm, Fox News, "Decision looms for Chicago officer: to testify or not," 28 Sep. 2018 When Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder on July 13, 2013, the phrase Black Lives Matter was coined. Hal Boedeker, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Trayvon Martin: Parents promote 'Rest in Power' documentary," 13 July 2018 The men acquitted of the killing, Bryant and Milam, subsequently confessed to the crime in an interview with Look magazine. Jenny Jarvie, latimes.com, "Justice Department reopens Emmett Till case. His killing in 1955 put a spotlight on racial violence," 12 July 2018 The Senate tried and acquitted Clinton in early 1999. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "Democrats worry about how a new Supreme Court justice would affect Russia investigation," 10 July 2018 They were acquitted by an all-male, all-white jury. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "The painful and necessary growth Emmett Till gave us," 13 July 2018 Five days after the trial began, Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury after about an hour of deliberations. Deneen L. Brown, Washington Post, "Emmett Till’s mother opened his casket and sparked the civil rights movement," 12 July 2018 Two men who confessed to killing Emmett, only after they had been acquitted by an all-white jury in Mississippi, are dead. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "U.S. Reopens Emmett Till Investigation, Almost 63 Years After His Murder," 12 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.

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

12 Dec 2018

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 \
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 \
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

a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!