vindicate

verb
vin·di·cate | \ˈvin-də-ˌkāt \
vindicated; vindicating

Definition of vindicate 

transitive verb

1a : to free from allegation or blame

b(1) : confirm, substantiate

(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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Other Words from vindicate

vindicator \ˈvin-di-ˌkā-tər \ noun

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

Him and Gundogan suffered with what happened before the World Cup because they have been vindicated in Germany. SI.com, "Arsene Wenger Reveals Why Arsenal Star Mesut Özil Flopped So Shambolically for Germany at World Cup," 10 July 2018 His belief that his vision of progress will turn back destructive populism has yet to be vindicated outside France. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron, the resolutely modern philosopher king," 13 June 2018 Both say they will be vindicated when the complete set of text exchanges is revealed by police or in court. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "The Sexting Scandal That Toppled One of America’s Most Powerful Lawyers," 13 July 2018 The Deavors hope to accomplish this by equipping Elastigirl’s suit with a hidden camera whose footage will demonstrate and vindicate her every heroic move. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "How the dazzling, overstuffed ‘Incredibles 2’ holds up a cracked mirror to present-day reality," 4 July 2018 Once enough holes have been poked in the general system for vindicating Fourth Amendment interests, the decision to extend Fourth Amendment coverage to a new domain — such as cell-site locational data — is just not terribly significant. Aziz Huq, Vox, "The latest Supreme Court decision is being hailed as a big victory for digital privacy. It’s not.," 22 June 2018 The goal isn’t to vindicate the abstract right to free speech but to assert the right’s power and influence over campus discourse — to force the campus mainstream into a choice between allowing vile ideas to spread or looking hostile to free speech. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "A conservative Stanford professor plotted to dig up dirt on a liberal student," 1 June 2018 The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. Una Mullally, The Cut, "The War Over Women’s Bodies in Ireland Is Here," 24 May 2018 My dispassionate leanings were vindicated a couple of months later, when the U.S. hosted the World Cup. Leo Robson, The New Yorker, "How We Watch Soccer Now," 5 Dec. 2016

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

1 Sep 2018

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 \
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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to reject or criticize sharply

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