beg one's pardon

Definition of beg one's pardon

  1. —The phrase I beg your pardon is used in polite speech to apologize when one has done something impolite or has made a mistake <I beg your pardon. I didn't mean to bump into you like that.> <I beg your pardon. You're correct; the amount is 12 dollars.> ; It can be used to show that one is annoyed or offended by something that another person has said <“That boy isn't very bright.” “I beg your pardon! That's my son!”> ; It can also be used as a question when one has not heard or understood something clearly <I beg your pardon. What did you say?> ; The shorter form beg pardon is also used informally this way <“He's been in Haiti for the past two months.” “Beg pardon? He's been in Hawaii?” “No, Haiti.”>

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to ask for as a charity (see charity 2a)

    :  to ask earnestly for :  entreat

    :  to require as necessary or appropriate

  1. : begin; beginning

  1. :  indulgence

    :  the excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty

    :  a release from the legal penalties of an offense

  1. :  to absolve from the consequences of a fault or crime

    :  to allow (an offense) to pass without punishment :  forgive

    :  to relieve of a penalty improperly assessed

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