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

Antonyms

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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 Last week, just two days after the Senate acquitted Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges, Vindman was ousted from his NSC job. Washington Post, "Army: No investigation into Vindman," 14 Feb. 2020 He was removed from his position with the NSC on Friday and escorted from the White House, just two days after the Senate acquitted Mr. Trump on impeachment charges. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "John Kelly knocks Trump for removing Vindman," 13 Feb. 2020 Their departures follow a wave of dismissals that have transpired since the Senate acquitted Trump last Wednesday. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Trump’s Conquest of the Department of Justice is Complete," 11 Feb. 2020 Culkin was called to testify in Jackson’s defence, and Jackson was eventually acquitted of the charges. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Macaulay Culkin Responds To Michael Jackson Question With A James Franco Story," 11 Feb. 2020 The firings came two days after the U.S. Senate acquitted Trump on two articles of impeachment, which were ordered over the withholding of aid from Ukraine. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ron Johnson tried to save job of impeachment witness Gordon Sondland," 10 Feb. 2020 His legal troubles extended beyond Lloyd’s murder; Hernandez was also charged with but eventually acquitted of the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Trailer for Netflix's Killer Inside highlights rise and fall of NFL star Aaron Hernandez," 7 Jan. 2020 Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher, a U.S. Navy SEAL who was supported by President Donald Trump after being acquitted in a murder case characterized as a war crime, is rebranding himself as a conservative influencer with an eye for macho fashion. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Eddie Gallagher, Acquitted of War Crimes and Supported by Donald Trump, Has Started a Lifestyle Clothing Line," 2 Jan. 2020 The Republican-majority Senate likely will acquit Trump at trial. Chicago Tribune, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Get on with Trump’s impeachment trial. Then comes Election Day," 22 Dec. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for acquit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for acquit

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Acquit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acquit. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for acquit

acquit

verb
How to pronounce acquit (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for acquit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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