par·​don | \ ˈpär-dᵊn How to pronounce pardon (audio) \

Definition of pardon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : the excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty offered a pardon to the draft evader
3a : a release from the legal penalties of an offense
b : an official warrant of remission of penalty a royal pardon later released him from a death sentenceAmerican Guide Series: Maryland
4 : excuse or forgiveness for a fault, offense, or discourtesy I beg your pardon She asked my pardon for taking up so much of my time.


pardoned; pardoning\ ˈpärd-​niŋ How to pronounce pardoning (audio) , ˈpär-​dᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of pardon (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to absolve from the consequences of a fault or crime
b : to allow (an offense) to pass without punishment : forgive
c : to relieve of a penalty improperly assessed

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Synonyms & Antonyms for pardon

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for pardon


excuse, condone, pardon, forgive mean to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these. excuse an interruption excused them for interrupting Often the term implies extenuating circumstances. injustice excuses strong responses condone implies that one overlooks without censure behavior (such as dishonesty or violence) that involves a serious breach of a moral, ethical, or legal code, and the term may refer to the behavior or to the agent responsible for it. a society that condones alcohol but not narcotics pardon implies that one remits a penalty due for an admitted or established offense. pardon a criminal forgive implies that one gives up all claim to requital and to resentment or vengeful feelings. could not forgive their rudeness

Examples of pardon in a Sentence

Noun The governor granted him a pardon. He asked my pardon for taking so much of my time. Verb he eventually pardoned his sister for interfering in his marriage I'm willing to pardon a little sloppiness of dress in such a kind and loving person.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But pardons do not protect migrants who have been convicted of drug or gun crimes, domestic violence or human trafficking. Bob Egelko,, "Newsom runs up against US Justice Department rules in pardoning immigrants," 8 Nov. 2019 But the timing was exquisitely bad to be seeking a pardon in Wisconsin. Dan Barry, New York Times, "His Victim Forgave Him Years Ago. Now the State Has, Too.," 6 Nov. 2019 Newsom's office has not commented about the pardon request. Fox News, "US Marine combat veteran, a convicted felon, deported to El Salvador," 27 Oct. 2019 The judge who made the ruling explained pardons don't erase convictions or the facts of cases and that Arpaio's clemency only mooted his possible punishments. CBS News, "Court hears arguments in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's bid to erase conviction pardoned by Trump," 23 Oct. 2019 And both admirers and critics alike are worried that a plea deal or a Presidential pardon may never see their position vindicated. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, "The Precarious Position of Benjamin Netanyahu," 8 Oct. 2019 It was reported several weeks ago that Trump offered pardons to officials who might commit crimes in order to make progress on the border wall. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Right Way to Impeach Trump," 28 Sep. 2019 There will be questions about potential witness tampering, and the suggestions of a presidential pardon for Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and conversations with Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Denver Post, "Mueller’s testimony poses risk for Trump, but also Democrats," 20 July 2019 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who wrote powerfully of the corrosive effect of official secrecy, was among many who advocated for Morison’s pardon. Jameel Jaffer, The New Yorker, "The Espionage Act and a Growing Threat to Press Freedom," 26 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb From January 2011 until January 2019, then, Wisconsin was the state that refused to pardon. Dan Barry, New York Times, "His Victim Forgave Him Years Ago. Now the State Has, Too.," 6 Nov. 2019 The United States , in turn, pardoned or commuted the sentences of one Iranian and six Iranian-Americans. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "The Hostage Drama in Iran Drags On—Forty Years Later," 4 Nov. 2019 Mohammed, who is also a US citizen, had been in exile in the United States until Abiy came to power and pardoned political prisoners and journalists jailed during previous regimes. Idris Muktar Ibrahim And Arnaud Siad, CNN, "Deadly protests roil Ethiopia as Nobel winner's backers and critics clash," 26 Oct. 2019 Israel is in the process of extraditing the Russian suspect to the U.S. Israeli leaders have appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon Issachar. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Israelis rally in support of woman imprisoned in Russia," 19 Oct. 2019 Mueller's 400-plus page report scrutinized Trump's comments on possibly pardoning Manafort as well as ex-longtime attorney Michael Cohen, who was involved in the hush payments, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. NBC News, "Cuomo signs law aimed at weakening Trump's pardon power, closes 'double jeopardy' loophole," 16 Oct. 2019 Evers was to pardon Eric Pizer, Kevin Sorenson, Mwangi Vasser and Steven Nichols. Scott Bauer,, "Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to issue state’s first pardons in 9 years after Scott Walker issued none," 6 Oct. 2019 In 2017, he was convicted of criminal contempt of court and then pardoned by President Donald Trump. USA TODAY, "Penal farm to produce farm, music under the sea: News from around our 50 states," 16 July 2019 Hunted down by the FBI, he was captured, sentenced to 55 years in prison, and, in 1999, pardoned by President Clinton., "Newburyport Documentary Film Festival," 12 Sep. 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pardon


Middle English, from Anglo-French pardun, pardoun, from parduner


Middle English, from Anglo-French parduner, from Late Latin perdonare to grant freely, from Latin per- thoroughly + donare to give — more at parboil, donation

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Time Traveler for pardon

Time Traveler

The first known use of pardon was in the 14th century

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Statistics for pardon

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pardon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for pardon


How to pronounce pardon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pardon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act of officially saying that someone who was judged to be guilty of a crime will be allowed to go free and will not be punished
formal : forgiveness for something



English Language Learners Definition of pardon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to officially say that someone who is guilty of a crime will be allowed to go free and will not be punished
: to say that someone should not be blamed for thinking, doing, or saying something
: to officially say that a person, country, etc., does not have to pay (a debt)


par·​don | \ ˈpär-dᵊn How to pronounce pardon (audio) \

Kids Definition of pardon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : forgiveness for wrong or rude behavior
2 : the act of freeing from legal punishment


pardoned; pardoning

Kids Definition of pardon (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to free from penalty for a fault or crime The prisoner was eventually pardoned.
2 : to allow (a wrong act) to pass without punishment : forgive



Legal Definition of pardon

1 : a release from the legal penalties of an offense
2 : an official warrant of remission of penalty as an act of clemency — compare commute
3 : excuse or forgiveness for a fault or offense

Other Words from pardon

pardon transitive verb

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Comments on pardon

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