ac·​quit·​tal ə-ˈkwi-tᵊl How to pronounce acquittal (audio)
: a setting free from the charge of an offense by verdict, sentence, or other legal process

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Earlier this year, First Reformed filmmaker Paul Schrader expressed interest in collaborating with Spacey on a Frank Sinatra biopic in the wake of his acquittal. Shania Russell,, 9 July 2024 This strange period included a brief but powerful recession, civil unrest in Los Angeles following the acquittal of police officers who brutally beat Rodney King, and the rise of unlikely political figures such as the neo-Nazi David Duke and the paleoconservative nationalist Pat Buchanan. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 18 June 2024 The purpose of these summations was for the prosecution and defense to marshal the trial evidence that favored their respective positions — conviction for the prosecution and acquittal for the defense. Nick Akerman, New York Daily News, 30 May 2024 And Democrats cast doubt on the idea that an acquittal would fundamentally change the perceptions of a man who spent decades in the public eye and four years in the White House. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 29 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for acquittal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acquittal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near acquittal

Cite this Entry

“Acquittal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


ac·​quit·​tal ə-ˈkwit-ᵊl How to pronounce acquittal (audio)
: the freeing (as by verdict) of a person from the charge of a crime

Legal Definition


ac·​quit·​tal ə-ˈkwit-ᵊl How to pronounce acquittal (audio)
: release or discharge from debt or other liability
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on acquittal

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