exonerate

verb
ex·​on·​er·​ate | \ ig-ˈzä-nə-ˌrāt How to pronounce exonerate (audio) , eg- \
exonerated; exonerating

Definition of exonerate

transitive verb

1 : to relieve of a responsibility, obligation, or hardship
2 : to clear from accusation or blame

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Other Words from exonerate

exoneration \ ig-​ˌzä-​nə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce exonerate (audio) , eg-​ \ noun
exonerative \ ig-​ˈzä-​nə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce exonerate (audio) , eg-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for exonerate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for exonerate

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

Where does exonerate come from?

We won't blame you if you don't know the origins of today's word. Exonerate derives via Middle English from the past participle of the Latin verb exonerare, meaning "to unburden," formed by combining the prefix ex- with onus, meaning "load" or "burden" (onus itself lives on with that meaning in English). In its earliest uses, dating from the 16th century, exonerate was used in the context of physical burdens—a ship, for example, could be exonerated of its cargo when it was unloaded. Later it was used in reference to any kind of burden, until a more specific sense developed, meaning "to relieve (someone) of blame."

Examples of exonerate in a Sentence

the results of the DNA fingerprinting finally exonerated the man, but only after he had wasted 10 years of his life in prison
Recent Examples on the Web Cooper has maintained his innocence throughout and has accused law enforcement of planting evidence and ignoring statements by witnesses that could have helped exonerate him. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 The film then turns into a story about a father racing to exonerate his child. Nick Romano, EW.com, 30 July 2021 Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president for PETA, an animal rights group, said the additional testing wouldn’t exonerate the trainer. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2021 In the report, Mueller pointedly did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice but also did not recommend prosecuting him, citing Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, Star Tribune, 4 June 2021 In the report, Mueller pointedly did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice but also did not recommend prosecuting him, citing Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. BostonGlobe.com, 4 June 2021 In the report, Mueller pointedly did not exonerate Mr. Trump of obstruction of justice but also did not recommend prosecuting him, citing Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. CBS News, 4 June 2021 In the report, Mueller pointedly did not exonerate President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice but also did not recommend prosecuting him, citing Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2021 That question thumps at the heart of the new drama Stillwater, in which Matt Damon plays an American dad, desperate to exonerate his incarcerated daughter. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 30 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exonerate.' 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 exonerate

1524, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exonerate

Middle English, from Latin exoneratus, past participle of exonerare to unburden, from ex- + oner-, onus load

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Time Traveler for exonerate

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The first known use of exonerate was in 1524

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Dictionary Entries Near exonerate

exoner

exonerate

exoneree

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exonerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exonerate. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for exonerate

exonerate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exonerate

: to prove that someone is not guilty of a crime or responsible for a problem, bad situation, etc.

exonerate

transitive verb
ex·​on·​er·​ate | \ ig-ˈzä-nə-ˌrāt, eg- How to pronounce exonerate (audio) \
exonerated; exonerating

Legal Definition of exonerate

1 : to relieve especially of a charge, obligation, or hardship
2 : to clear from accusation or blame — compare acquit, exculpate

History and Etymology for exonerate

Latin exonerare to relieve, free, discharge, from ex- out + onerare to burden, from oner-, onus load

More from Merriam-Webster on exonerate

Nglish: Translation of exonerate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exonerate for Arabic Speakers

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