Synonym Chooser

How does the verb vindicate differ from other similar words?

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

When might absolve be a better fit than vindicate?

Although the words absolve and vindicate have much in common, 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 vindicate?

The synonyms acquit and vindicate are sometimes interchangeable, but acquit implies a formal decision in one's favor with respect to a definite charge.

voted to acquit the defendant

When could exculpate be used to replace vindicate?

The meanings of exculpate and vindicate 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 exonerate be a good substitute for vindicate?

The words exonerate and vindicate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, exonerate implies a complete clearance from an accusation or charge and from any attendant suspicion of blame or guilt.

exonerated by the investigation


Thesaurus Entries Near vindicate

Cite this Entry

“Vindicate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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