vindicate

verb
vin·​di·​cate | \ ˈvin-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce vindicate (audio) \
vindicated; vindicating

Definition of vindicate

transitive verb

1a : to free from allegation or blame
(2) : to provide justification or defense for : justify
c : to protect from attack or encroachment : defend
2 : avenge
3 : to maintain a right to
4 obsolete : to set free : deliver

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Synonyms & Antonyms for vindicate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for vindicate

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

maintain, assert, defend, vindicate, justify mean to uphold as true, right, just, or reasonable. maintain stresses firmness of conviction. steadfastly maintained his innocence assert suggests determination to make others accept one's claim. asserted her rights defend implies maintaining in the face of attack or criticism. defended his voting record vindicate implies successfully defending. his success vindicated our faith in him justify implies showing to be true, just, or valid by appeal to a standard or to precedent. the action was used to justify military intervention

Did You Know?

It's not surprising that the two earliest senses of "vindicate," which has been used in English since at least the mid-16th century, are "to set free" (a sense that is now obsolete) and "to avenge." Vindicate derives from Latin vindicatus, the past participle of the verb vindicare, meaning "to set free, avenge, or lay claim to." "Vindicare," in turn, derives from "vindex," a noun meaning "claimant" or "avenger." Other descendants of "vindicare" in English include such vengeful words as "avenge" itself, "revenge," "vengeance," "vendetta," and "vindictive." Closer cousins of "vindicate" are "vindicable" ("capable of being vindicated") and the archaic word vindicative ("punitive").

Examples of vindicate in a Sentence

She will be completely vindicated by the evidence. These discoveries vindicate their theory. Their approach to the problem has been vindicated by the positive results. He felt vindicated when the truth became known.
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Recent Examples on the Web Most requesters simply do not have the resources to vindicate their rights in court. Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Newly released memo suggests Gov. Kate Brown wasn’t in the dark on public records concerns," 11 Sep. 2019 Until then, these unconstitutional actions would create substantial chaos and impose high costs on social media providers to vindicate their rights. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump keeps complaining about bias on Twitter — but what can he do about it? 8 experts weigh in.," 23 Aug. 2018 Castillo’s attorney Jaime Serrat said his client denies the allegations and expects to be vindicated at trial. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Beachwood Saks Fifth Avenue associate helped fentanyl trafficker buy high-end items without IRS scrutiny, feds say," 30 Jan. 2020 The development of the Cold War and the successive revelations about domestic Communists seemed to have vindicated Franklin Roosevelt’s nationalist opponents in the minds of many people. John Lukacs, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Right," 20 Jan. 2020 Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that no one who was involved in the warrant application process should feel vindicated, rejecting claims of vindication that Comey had made in an opinion piece earlier in the week. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON — Former FBI Director James Comey acknowledged Sunday that a Justice Department inspector general report identified “real sloppiness’’ in the surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide and said he was wrong to have been “overconfident’’ about how the Russia investigation was handled.," 16 Dec. 2019 Off the bat, Wallace juxtaposed Comey’s claim that the IG report was a vindication with Michael Horowitz’s congressional testimony that no one who had anything to do with the FBI’s handling of the investigation should feel vindicated. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Slippery James Comey Gets Nailed," 16 Dec. 2019 Many critics, who were never reconciled to his leadership, feel vindicated. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "Battered U.K. Labour Party Ponders Next Move, as Corbyn Plans Exit," 13 Dec. 2019 When the news of Operation Varsity Blues broke, the counselor felt vindicated. Daniel Golden, ProPublica, "An Unseen Victim of the College Admissions Scandal: The High School Tennis Champion Aced Out by a Billionaire Family," 8 Oct. 2019

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

circa 1571, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for vindicate

Latin vindicatus, past participle of vindicare to lay claim to, avenge, from vindic-, vindex claimant, avenger

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Time Traveler for vindicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of vindicate was circa 1571

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Statistics for vindicate

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vindicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vindicate. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for vindicate

vindicate

verb
How to pronounce vindicate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vindicate

: to show that (someone) should not be blamed for a crime, mistake, etc. : to show that (someone) is not guilty
: to show that (someone or something that has been criticized or doubted) is correct, true, or reasonable

vindicate

verb
vin·​di·​cate | \ ˈvin-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce vindicate (audio) \
vindicated; vindicating

Kids Definition of vindicate

1 : to free from blame or guilt The evidence will vindicate her.
2 : to show to be true or correct Later discoveries vindicated their claim.

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