1 a : avenge 2 a: to free from allegation or blame
b : confirm, substantiate
c : to provide justification or defense for : justify
d : to protect from attack or encroachment : defend
2 : to maintain a right to
Did You Know?
It's not surprising that the two earliest senses of "vindicate," which has been used in English since at least the mid-16th century, are "to set free" (a sense that is now obsolete) and "to avenge." "Vindicate" derives from Latin "vindicatus," the past participle of the verb "vindicare," meaning "to set free, avenge, or lay claim to." "Vindicare," in turn, derives from "vindex," a noun meaning "claimant" or "avenger." Other descendants of "vindicare" in English include such vengeful words as "avenge" itself, "revenge," "vengeance," "vendetta," and "vindictive." Closer cousins of "vindicate" are "vindicable" ("capable of being vindicated") and the archaic word "vindicative" ("punitive").
Recent discoveries appear to vindicate the scientist's once controversial theory.
"A mixture of overreaction, overconfidence and herding causes investors to see growth where none exists and so pay too much for it. This implies that a low yield is a sign not of future capital appreciation and growth, but rather that the share is overvalued. History seems to vindicate this prediction." - From an article in Investors Chronicle, March 5, 2012
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What synonym of "vindicate" begins with "e" and comes from the Latin word "culpa," meaning "blame"? The answer is ...
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP