acquit

verb
ac·​quit | \ ə-ˈkwit How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
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

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Other Words from acquit

acquitter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for acquit

Synonyms

absolve, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate

Antonyms

criminate, incriminate

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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

Both were acquitted of all charges by an all-white jury while spectators cheered. BostonGlobe.com, "NEW YORK — Juanita Abernathy, who helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott and took part in other pivotal protests at the outset of the civil rights era alongside the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, her husband and a leader of the movement, died on Thursday at a hospital in Atlanta. She was 88.," 17 Sep. 2019 The former cheerleader, now 20, was acquitted of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment on Thursday. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Family of Ex-Cheerleader Acquitted of Killing Her Baby Will 'Bring Closure' with Proper Burial," 15 Sep. 2019 Zimmerman was later acquitted of all charges in a trial influenced by Florida’s stand-your-ground law. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Gun rights explored in provocative ‘Well Armed Militias’ exhibit at Spaces," 15 Sep. 2019 Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 20, was acquitted Thursday of aggravated murder and involuntary manslaughter for the May 2017 death of her baby girl, according to NBC affiliate WCMH in Columbus. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "Ohio ex-cheerleader found not guilty of killing newborn daughter she buried in backyard," 13 Sep. 2019 Both were acquitted of all charges by an all-white jury while spectators cheered. New York Times, "Juanita Abernathy, a Force in the Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 88," 13 Sep. 2019 Gallagher was acquitted of most of the charges against him during a court-martial this summer at Naval Base San Diego. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Navy SEAL acquitted of war crimes files lawsuit against ex-lawyers and military legal nonprofit," 13 Sep. 2019 Garcia Zarate was acquitted in November 2017 of murder and involuntary manslaughter charges as well as assault with a deadly weapon in Steinle's death. Theresa Waldrop, CNN, "Gun conviction overturned for immigrant acquitted in Kate Steinle death," 30 Aug. 2019 Garcia Zarate, 46, was acquitted of homicide charges in the case that touched off a furor about immigration and sanctuary laws. Evan Sernoffsky, SFChronicle.com, "Kate Steinle case: Appeals court overturns gun conviction of Jose Inez Garcia Zarate," 30 Aug. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for acquit

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for acquit

The first known use of acquit was in the 13th century

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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 How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
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 How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
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)

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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

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