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

Plaintiff here does not seek to vindicate an unauthorized use of a photograph or tattoo design, but the unauthorized use of his likeness... Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cardi B Must Face Lawsuit Over Distinctive Tattoo on Album Cover," 23 Aug. 2019 Trump has denied any wrongdoing and says he was vindicated by the Mueller report, but the special counsel made clear in his testimony to Congress that that was not the case. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Majority of House Democrats back impeachment proceedings," 2 Aug. 2019 But American courts should take a page from Singapore’s judiciary: Judges would do well to vindicate worthy reproductive interests and recognize the real and substantial harms that these mix-ups occasion. Dov Fox, WIRED, "What Happens When Reproductive Tech Like IVF Goes Awry?," 17 July 2019 Victims of deepfake information need a private right of action in order to have the opportunity to vindicate their reputation in court. Yvette Clarke, Quartz, "Deepfakes will influence the 2020 election—and our economy, and our prison system," 11 July 2019 The new rise in racist rhetoric and violence certainly vindicates the boomers’ fight for civil rights. Leonard Pitts Jr - Miami Herald, The Mercury News, "Leonard Pitts Jr.: Fifty years later, Woodstock issues remain relevant," 13 Aug. 2019 Liberal democracy had been vindicated not concretely but theoretically. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’ Was Misunderstood by Critics," 7 Aug. 2019 Neville vindicated, England on track and on target, and some squad players given valuable minutes. SI.com, "England 2-0 Japan: Phil Neville's Lucky Dip Lineup Provides More Questions Than Answers in Nice," 20 June 2019 And more: Miller, of course, has not been vindicated. Andrew Joseph, USA TODAY, "Arizona fans wear 'vindicated' Sean Miller shirts," 8 Mar. 2018

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

15 Sep 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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