Thesaurus

excuse

noun

Synonyms and Antonyms of excuse

  1. an explanation that frees one from fault or blame “a really important business call” is no excuse for not paying proper attention to one's driving Synonyms of excuse alibi, apology, defense, justification, plea, reason Words Related to excuse color, guise, pretense (or pretence), pretext, rationale, rationalization, vindication, whitewash; cop-out, out; acknowledgment (or acknowledgement), atonement, confession; extenuation, palliation

Synonym Discussion of excuse

apology, apologia, excuse, plea, pretext, alibi mean matter offered in explanation or defense. 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
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
excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure.
    • used illness as an excuse for missing the meeting
plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy.
    • her usual plea that she was nearsighted
pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation.
    • used any pretext to get out of work
alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation.
    • his alibi failed to stand scrutiny

excuse

verb

Synonyms and Antonyms of excuse

  1. 1 to dismiss as of little importance more often than not, voters are willing to excuse a candidate's youthful indiscretion Synonyms of excuse blink (at), brush (aside or off), condone, discount, disregard, forgive, gloss (over), gloze (over), ignore, overlook, overpass, paper over, pardon, pass over, remit, shrug off, whitewash, wink (at) Words Related to excuse explain, justify, rationalize; absolve, acquit, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate; waive, wave (aside or off) Phrases close one's eyes to, forgive and forget Near Antonyms of excuse heed, mark, mind, note, object (to)

  2. 2 to be an acceptable reason for having a female passenger in labor will generally excuse a little disregard for the speed limit Synonyms of excuse justifyWords Related to excuse account (for), alibi, explain, explain away, rationalize; brush (aside or off), condone, disregard, forgive, gloss (over), gloze (over), ignore, pardon, pass over, remit, shrug off, wink (at)

  3. 3 to make (something) seem less bad by offering excuses he's always excusing his chronic lying by claiming that everybody lies Synonyms of excuse deodorize, palliate, explain away, extenuate, gloss (over), gloze (over), whitewashWords Related to excuse sugarcoat, varnish; apologize, atone, confess; account (for), explain, justify, rationalize; minimize, play down, soft-pedal; alleviate, ease, lessen, lighten, mitigate, moderate, soften, temper; absolve, acquit, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate

Synonym Discussion of excuse

excuse, condone, pardon, forgive mean to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these.
    • excuse an interruption
    • excused them for interrupting
Often the term implies extenuating circumstances.
    • injustice excuses strong responses
condone implies that one overlooks without censure behavior (such as dishonesty or violence) that involves a serious breach of a moral, ethical, or legal code, and the term may refer to the behavior or to the agent responsible for it.
    • a society that condones alcohol but not narcotics
pardon implies that one remits a penalty due for an admitted or established offense.
    • pardon a criminal
forgive implies that one gives up all claim to requital and to resentment or vengeful feelings.
    • could not forgive their rudeness


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