Kasowitz: Trump feels 'Vindicated'
Vindicate (“to free from allegation or blame”) worked its way to the front of our list of lookups on June 7th, 2017, after Donald Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, announced that the President’s feelings about James Comey's statement to the Senate intelligence committee might be well described with this word.
Hours after Comey’s testimony was made public, the president’s lawyer announced that he felt “completely and totally vindicated.”
—Eric Levitz, New York (nymag.com), 7 Jun. 2017
Vindicate dates to the 16th century in English use, and comes from the Latin vindicatus, a word which carries the meaning of “to lay claim to, set free, avenge.” Vindicate should not be confused with vitiate (“to make faulty or defective”), vaticinate (“to predict”), or vindemiate (a sadly obscure word that several 17th century lexicographers defined as “to gather ripe fruit”).
So shall your Highnes be truely called Pater patriae & fidei defensor, if you vindicate your owne sacred Person from the treacherous attempts of hollow hearted Subiects, your Realmes from the inuasions and assaults of forraine foes, and the Maiestie of the euerliuing God, from being blasphemed and profaned by vile Idolatours.
—Gabriel Powel, The Catholikes Supoplication, 1603
Two days after vindicate spiked, the noun form vindication saw a surge in lookups after Donald Trump tweeted his thoughts on the hearing.