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

absolve, acquit, clear, exculpate, exonerate

Antonyms

criminate, incriminate

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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

Long after they were vindicated and given a collective award of forty-one million dollars, Trump refused to apologize or reconsider. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "A Racist in the White House," 16 July 2019 Ernest Stevens was vindicated on appeal, but decades later his son would say the family’s ordeal taught him that justice can misfire. Connie Cass, Twin Cities, "Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies at 99," 16 July 2019 Many in the blockchain space are feeling vindicated by Facebook’s arrival to cryptocurrency. Joe Lubin, Quartz, "Facebook’s cryptocurrency is a centralized wolf in decentralized sheep’s clothing," 21 June 2019 That theory has been vindicated by every experimental test thrown at it in the century since. Quanta Magazine, "To Test Einstein’s Equations, Poke a Black Hole," 8 Mar. 2018 The report seeks to vindicate the actions of the commission staff after Pullman's daughter called the Consumer Services division in the days following her mother's death. Jonathan J. Cooper, azcentral, "APS can't prove it followed rules before shutting off Sun City West woman's power, report says," 25 June 2019 Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch did not find any circumstances worthy of vindicating Mr Flowers’s constitutional rights. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "A prosecutor excluded black jurors from a murder trial," 21 June 2019 Wolves can now offer him the chance to prove his skills on the European stage after qualifying for the Europa League, vindicating the decision to stay in the Midlands. SI.com, "Transfers Window: How 7 of Last Summer's Most Talked About Players Fared During the 2018/19 Season," 10 June 2019 His brilliance has propelled the Raptors to their first championship berth, vindicating team president Masai Ujiri, who agonizingly gutted the roster in pursuit of glory. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "The Toronto Raptors used a high-risk business strategy to make the NBA Finals," 4 June 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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Statistics for vindicate

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vindicate

The first known use of vindicate was circa 1571

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More Definitions for vindicate

vindicate

verb

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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Comments on vindicate

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