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

Antonyms

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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 As expected, a majority of Senate Republicans voted Saturday to acquit Trump. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Impeachment trial, freedom of speech, the cold weather," 16 Feb. 2021 Donald Trump’s defense attorney Michael van der Veen unleashed on the media after the Senate voted to acquit the former president of inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Trump impeachment lawyer unleashes on 'bloodthirsty' media 'trying to divide this country' during live interview," 14 Feb. 2021 Jurors can acquit or convict Chauvin on all of the charges or any combination of the counts. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Reinstated third-degree murder charge against Chauvin presents opportunity, risks," 12 Mar. 2021 But Ross disagreed with the judge’s interpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling and asked him to uphold the rule that allows jurors to acquit without a unanimous vote, according to state supreme court records. oregonlive, "Oregon will continue to allow acquittals by nonunanimous juries, new ruling says," 26 Feb. 2021 Saturday’s vote extends the trial beyond the weekend, when it was expected to wrap up with a likely vote to acquit the former president on inciting an insurrection ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Senate votes to summon impeachment trial witnesses, extending trial indefinitely," 13 Feb. 2021 Most of them ultimately voted to acquit, doubting whether Trump was fully responsible or if impeachment is the appropriate response. Anchorage Daily News, "Senate acquits Trump in impeachment trial; Murkowski votes to convict while Sullivan votes not guilty," 13 Feb. 2021 Tuberville was among the 43 senators who voted Saturday to acquit Trump of impeachment charges. al, "Spokesperson: Sen. Tuberville shared ‘best recollection’ on Trump phone call," 13 Feb. 2021 The vote Saturday to consider witnesses upended the trial, which had been racing toward closing arguments and a vote on whether to acquit or convict Trump. Chron, "The Latest: Enough senators vote not guilty to acquit Trump," 13 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for acquit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for acquit

Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acquit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acquit. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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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