Synonym Chooser

How does the verb acquit differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of acquit are absolve, exculpate, exonerate, and vindicate. While all these words mean "to free from a charge," acquit implies a formal decision in one's favor with respect to a definite charge.

voted to acquit the defendant

When might absolve be a better fit than acquit?

While the synonyms absolve and acquit are close in meaning, 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 can exculpate be used instead of acquit?

In some situations, the words exculpate and acquit are roughly equivalent. However, exculpate implies a clearing from blame or fault often in a matter of small importance.

exculpating himself from the charge of overenthusiasm

When is it sensible to use exonerate instead of acquit?

While in some cases nearly identical to acquit, exonerate implies a complete clearance from an accusation or charge and from any attendant suspicion of blame or guilt.

exonerated by the investigation

When could vindicate be used to replace acquit?

The words vindicate and acquit are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near acquit

Cite this Entry

“Acquit.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on acquit

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