Thesaurus

absolve

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of absolve

to free from a charge of wrongdoing
  • no amount of remorse will absolve shoplifters who are caught, and all cases will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law

Synonyms for absolve

Words Related to absolve

Near Antonyms for absolve

Antonyms for absolve

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Frequently Asked Questions About absolve

How does the verb absolve differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of absolve are acquit, exculpate, exonerate, and vindicate. While all these words mean "to free from a charge," 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

When might acquit be a better fit than absolve?

While in some cases nearly identical to absolve, acquit implies a formal decision in one's favor with respect to a definite charge.

voted to acquit the defendant

When is exculpate a more appropriate choice than absolve?

The words exculpate and absolve are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, exculpate implies a clearing from blame or fault often in a matter of small importance.

exculpating himself from the charge of overenthusiasm

When could exonerate be used to replace absolve?

Although the words exonerate and absolve have much in common, exonerate implies a complete clearance from an accusation or charge and from any attendant suspicion of blame or guilt.

exonerated by the investigation

When is it sensible to use vindicate instead of absolve?

The meanings of vindicate and absolve largely overlap; however, 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

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Time Traveler for absolve

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The first known use of absolve was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Absolve.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/absolve. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on absolve

Dictionary: Definition of absolve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with absolve

Spanish Central: Translation of absolve

Nglish: Translation of absolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of absolve for Arabic Speakers

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