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Synonym Chooser

How does the noun alibi contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of alibi are apologia, apology, excuse, plea, and pretext. While all these words mean "matter offered in explanation or defense," alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation.

his alibi failed to stand scrutiny

When can apologia be used instead of alibi?

The words apologia and alibi are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, apologia implies not admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position.

his speech was an apologia for his foreign policy

When is apology a more appropriate choice than alibi?

The words apology and alibi can be used in similar contexts, but apology usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances.

said by way of apology that he would have met them if he could

When is it sensible to use excuse instead of alibi?

While in some cases nearly identical to alibi, excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure.

used illness as an excuse for missing the meeting

When would plea be a good substitute for alibi?

While the synonyms plea and alibi are close in meaning, plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy.

her usual plea that she was nearsighted

In what contexts can pretext take the place of alibi?

In some situations, the words pretext and alibi are roughly equivalent. However, pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation.

used any pretext to get out of work

Thesaurus Entries Near alibi

Cite this Entry

“Alibi.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on alibi

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