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

In any case, the cartoonishly evil warden forces Archie to take Joaquin’s place in the fight club, and Archie appears to have casually developed superhuman fighting abilities, so acquits himself extremely well. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 6 Craziest Things That Happened On Riverdale Tonight," 25 Oct. 2018 Appeals judges acquitted him of all charges in that case earlier this year and ordered him freed. Mike Corder, The Seattle Times, "ICC sentences ex-Congo VP to 1 year for witness tampering," 17 Sep. 2018 In 1980, rioting that claimed 18 lives erupted in Miami’s Liberty City after an all-white jury in Tampa acquitted four former Miami police officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur McDuffie. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 17 May 2018 He had been acquitted of this charge in normal criminal court, but a special committee of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Hastings had committed perjury and tampered with evidence in the case to secure his acquittal. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "It works just like impeaching a president.," 27 Sep. 2018 He was acquitted of conspiracy and eight more charges related to trade secret theft. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Former Employee Of Groton Defense Contractor Requests New Trial After Conviction For Stealing Navy Secrets," 12 July 2018 At the time of his death, he had recently been acquitted of double-murder charges in the 2012 shooting deaths of two men outside a Boston nightclub. Adam Carlson, PEOPLE.com, "What We Know About Aaron Hernandez's Former Fiancée and Her New Baby," 25 June 2018 He was acquitted in April 2016 but was fined $500 on the charge of wanton endangerment, a misdemeanor, relating to the same incident. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Deleted video shows county attorney correcting 'sexual predator' remark," 15 June 2018 He was acquitted, but the State Department banned him from traveling for eight more years because Du Bois would not sign an affidavit renouncing communism. Evan Halper, latimes.com, "Is that environmental group a pawn of Beijing? Nonprofits wary of being branded 'foreign agents'," 14 June 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

7 Feb 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 \
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

to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

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

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!