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

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 Somehow, hearing the call yet again, and being able to make out more of it, had an effect on several of the jurors who had been inclined to acquit. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, 4 June 2022 But lawyers for Croft and Fox have asked a judge to acquit their clients, arguing there is not sufficient evidence to convict them of kidnapping conspiracy or agreeing to use a weapon of mass destruction. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 30 June 2022 However, the Kentucky Republican voted to acquit Trump of inciting the insurrection during the ex-president’s second impeachment trial last year and has mostly stayed mum about Trump in public since then. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, 7 May 2022 Even knowing that, and following the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, Lee voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Nov. 2021 In June, a relative of one of three men killed at a New Year’s Eve party in 2018 charged at Tevin Biles-Thomas after Judge Joan Synenberg granted a motion by his attorneys to acquit him for lack of evidence during his trial. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 26 Apr. 2022 McConnell has mostly stayed mum about Trump, though, since voting to acquit him of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, 22 Apr. 2022 In their motion Tuesday, Thompson’s attorneys asked Valderrama to overturn the jury’s verdict and acquit him instead on all charges, saying the government had failed to meet its burden of proof. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, 15 Mar. 2022 The jury took just over an hour to acquit Brandon Bostian, 38, of causing a catastrophe, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment -- one count for each injury and death. Arkansas Online, 5 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near acquit

acquist

acquit

acquitment

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Acquit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acquit. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for acquit

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on acquit

Nglish: Translation of acquit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acquit for Arabic Speakers

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