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

The appeal Hearsay evidence presented during Issa's trial and the acquittal of Khrais' wife contributed to Issa's conviction being overturned. Cameron Knight,, "Man on death row for 1997 murder could be set free, sent home to Jordan," 3 June 2019 Here, Cullors outlines the first series of marches she, Garza and Tometi organized in the wake of Zimmerman’s acquittal. Aric Jenkins, Time, "Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors on Her Memoir, Her Life and What's Next for the Movement," 26 Feb. 2018 Ahn Hee-jung’s acquittal was seen by activists as a setback for South Korea’s women’s-rights movement. Yun-hwan Chae, WSJ, "Former South Korean Political Star Acquitted of Sexual Assault," 14 Aug. 2018 The acquittal is set to raise more questions over the ICC’s role. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "International Court Acquits Ex-Ivory Coast President of Crimes Against Humanity," 15 Jan. 2019 His acquittal follows the termination of proceedings against Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, in 2016 and the court’s 2014 decision to drop charges against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, also linked to postelection violence. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "International Court Acquits Ex-Ivory Coast President of Crimes Against Humanity," 15 Jan. 2019 Zimmerman has been involved in several run-ins with the law since his 2013 acquittal, including an arrest for aggravated assault with a weapon in 2015. Aric Jenkins, Time, "George Zimmerman Charged With Stalking Private Investigator Working on Jay-Z Documentary About Trayvon Martin," 8 May 2018 Elsewhere, Miami erupted into riots following the acquittal of white police officers who killed black salesman and retired Marine Arthur McDuffie in what many called a case of police brutality. Russell Contreras, The Seattle Times, "Before multiculturalism, blackface rampant in US pop culture," 10 Feb. 2019 Earlier this year women around the country staged several demonstrations and created the movement #/IBelieveHer following the acquittal of four men accused of raping a woman. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Women in Ireland Are Posting Images of Their Underwear to Protest Rape Culture," 20 Nov. 2018

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

14 Jun 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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