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 The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division filed lawsuits and amicus briefs seeking to vindicate religious and economic liberties against draconian COVID restrictions imposed by state governments. The Editors, National Review, "Well Done, Mr. Attorney General," 15 Dec. 2020 Trump’s victory seemed to vindicate Putin’s dark conviction. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "The Biden Era Begins," 7 Nov. 2020 That means that in many states, workers and their advocates are going to be looking to state courts to vindicate their rights. Gene Johnson, Star Tribune, "Washington Supreme Court: Farmworkers to get overtime pay," 5 Nov. 2020 Sure, the system brought into being by our eighteenth-century Constitution protected slavery, failed to vindicate the rights of women, and was antidemocratic. Annette Gordon-reed, The New York Review of Books, "Hopes for the American Experiment," 3 Nov. 2020 But only the final tally will vindicate one strategy or the other. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "2020 presidential election: See answers to these key questions heading into Election Day," 2 Nov. 2020 But only the final tally will vindicate one strategy or the other. Bill Barrow, chicagotribune.com, "When will the race be called? Here are answers to key questions about Election Day.," 2 Nov. 2020 Xi's comments need to be taken with a grain of salt — Beijing has also taken elements of Trump's presidency as an opportunity to vindicate its own heavy-handedness at home, in Hong Kong, for example, with its draconian national security law. Angela Dewan, CNN, "America's role as global leader all but died under Trump. The world was outgrowing it anyway," 1 Nov. 2020 As was the case with former Arizona State one-and-done and Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Lugentz Dort, getting signed as an undrafted free agent helps vindicate their decision to forgo their NCAA eligibility and turn pro. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, "Ex-Bella Vista Prep standout Terry Armstrong trains for NBA draft at Dream City Christian in Glendale," 31 Oct. 2020

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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Last Updated

19 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vindicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vindicate. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on vindicate

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