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



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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 In the spring of 1992, when the acquittal of four white Los Angeles policemen in the beating death of Rodney King sparked riots and violent clashes across the country, Perry would be credited with helping keep Hartford calm. Rebecca Lurye,, "Former Hartford Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry, the first African American woman to lead a Northeast city, dies," 8 Nov. 2019 The acquittal of Samuel Chase established the independence of the judiciary. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "The Invention—and Reinvention—of Impeachment," 21 Oct. 2019 Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court have appealed against the acquittal of Laurent Gbagbo, a former president of Ivory Coast, on charges of crimes against humanity. The Economist, "Politics this week," 19 Sep. 2019 The lawsuit claims Hall was working undercover in a crowd of people who were protesting the acquittal of the white officer. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "St. Louis undercover cop claims officers beat him during anti-police protests," 18 Sep. 2019 The acquittal of four white LAPD officers involved sparked violent riots across Los Angeles that left more than 50 people dead and more than 2,000 injured. Joe Sutton, CNN, "Philadelphia's acting police commissioner apologizes for having worn a controversial LAPD shirt," 11 Sep. 2019 Witnesses who attended Pell’s trial said that the jury had voted overwhelmingly, 10–2, voted for Pell’s acquittal. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "The Strange Case against Cardinal Pell," 22 Aug. 2019 The second, coming near the end of 2018, resulted in Swartz’s acquittal on all charges. A.c. Thompson, ProPublica, "“Dirtbag,” “Savages,” “Subhuman”: A Border Agent’s Hateful Career and the Crime That Finally Ended It," 16 Aug. 2019 The move to East Cleveland drew criticism from the supervisors' attorneys, who accused McGinty of shopping for a more favorable jury pool in the wake of Brelo’s acquittal. Evan Macdonald,, "Trial for Cleveland police supervisors from ’137 shots’ case is culmination of years-long legal battle," 15 July 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

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for acquittal

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

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More Definitions for acquittal


How to pronounce acquittal (audio)

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 engage in dissolute behavior

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