Thesaurus

exonerate

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of exonerate

to free from a charge of wrongdoing
  • the results of the DNA fingerprinting finally exonerated the man, but only after he had wasted 10 years of his life in prison

Synonyms for exonerate

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Frequently Asked Questions About exonerate

How does the verb exonerate differ from other similar words?

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

In some situations, the words absolve and exonerate are roughly equivalent. However, 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

In what contexts can acquit take the place of exonerate?

Although the words acquit and exonerate have much in common, acquit implies a formal decision in one's favor with respect to a definite charge.

voted to acquit the defendant

When is it sensible to use exculpate instead of exonerate?

The meanings of exculpate and exonerate largely overlap; however, exculpate implies a clearing from blame or fault often in a matter of small importance.

exculpating himself from the charge of overenthusiasm

When would vindicate be a good substitute for exonerate?

The synonyms vindicate and exonerate are sometimes interchangeable, but 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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The first known use of exonerate was in 1524

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Cite this Entry

“Exonerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/exonerate. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exonerate

Dictionary: Definition of exonerate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exonerate

Spanish Central: Translation of exonerate

Nglish: Translation of exonerate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exonerate for Arabic Speakers

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