ac·​quit·​tal | \ ə-ˈkwi-tᵊl How to pronounce acquittal (audio) \

Definition of acquittal

: a setting free from the charge of an offense by verdict, sentence, or other legal process

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Synonyms & Antonyms for acquittal


clearing, exculpation, exoneration, vindication



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Examples of acquittal in a Sentence

The case resulted in acquittal of the defendant. Several jurors voted for acquittal. The case resulted in an acquittal of the defendant.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Alaric May signed an order for Wilson to be released from the Jefferson County Jail following his acquittal. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Birmingham man found not guilty in murder of grandmother," 10 Sep. 2019 The acquittal marks a high-profile setback for a Justice Department crackdown on foreign lobbying in the United States, exposing flaws in a difficult prosecution that was handed off between several offices before Craig's April indictment. Anchorage Daily News, "High-powered Democratic lawyer found not guilty of lying to investigators about work for Ukraine government," 4 Sep. 2019 After the acquittal, Stephenson once again was a regular at the Jefferson County Courthouse, conducting marriages. al, "Filmmakers plan movie about Birmingham priest killed by Klansman 98 years ago," 11 Aug. 2019 Black Lives Matter was founded in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Valley coffee shops wade into Tempe Starbucks controversy," 8 July 2019 Despite the acquittal of Chief Gallagher, the Navy is going ahead with its prosecution of Lt. San Diego Union-Tribune, "SEAL platoon commander charged in war crime cover-up heading to trial in September," 4 July 2019 Baez won an acquittal for Anthony in the 2008 death of her young daughter, Caylee. Richard Winton,, "Who is willing to defend Harvey Weinstein? A third high-powered lawyer wants off case," 17 June 2019 Ten jurors voted to convict Almena, but two others called for an acquittal. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "Ghost Ship verdict: Jury acquits one defendant, deadlocks on second in warehouse fire that killed 36," 5 Sep. 2019 Former Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge's career is peppered with controversies from the bench, convictions and a rape acquittal deemed improper by higher courts. Cameron Knight,, "Former Ohio judge suspended from law after improper rape acquittal, years of misconduct," 13 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acquittal.' 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 acquittal

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acquittal

Middle English acquitaille, acquytall "release, discharge, conduct," borrowed from Anglo-French acquitel, acquitaill, from aquiter "to acquit" + -el, -aill -al entry 2

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Statistics for acquittal

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for acquittal

The first known use of acquittal was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for acquittal



English Language Learners Definition of acquittal

: the act of deciding that a person is not guilty of a crime : the act of acquitting someone


ac·​quit·​tal | \ ə-ˈkwi-tᵊl How to pronounce acquittal (audio) \

Kids Definition of acquittal

: the act of declaring someone innocent of a crime or wrongdoing


ac·​quit·​tal | \ ə-ˈkwit-ᵊl How to pronounce acquittal (audio) \

Legal Definition of acquittal

1 : release or discharge from debt or other liability
2 : a setting free or deliverance from the charge of an offense by verdict of a jury, judgment of a court, or other legal process — see also implied acquittal, judgment of acquittal at judgment sense 1a — compare conviction

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Comments on acquittal

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


to be made up of

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