acquit

verb
ac·​quit | \ ə-ˈkwit How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
acquitted; acquitting

Definition of acquit

transitive verb

1 : to discharge completely (as from an accusation or obligation) The court acquitted the prisoner.
2 : to conduct (oneself) usually satisfactorily especially under stress The recruits acquitted themselves like veterans.
3a archaic : to pay off (something, such as a claim or debt)
b obsolete : repay, requite

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Other Words from acquit

acquitter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for acquit

Synonyms

Antonyms

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behave, conduct, deport, comport, acquit mean to act or to cause oneself to do something in a certain way. behave may apply to the meeting of a standard of what is proper or decorous. the children behaved in church conduct implies action or behavior that shows the extent of one's power to control or direct oneself. conducted herself with unfailing good humor deport implies behaving so as to show how far one conforms to conventional rules of discipline or propriety. the hero deported himself in accord with the code of chivalry comport suggests conduct measured by what is expected or required of one in a certain class or position. comported themselves as gentlemen acquit applies to action under stress that deserves praise or meets expectations. acquitted herself well in her first assignment

exculpate, absolve, exonerate, acquit, vindicate mean to free from a charge. exculpate implies a clearing from blame or fault often in a matter of small importance. exculpating himself from the charge of overenthusiasm 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 exonerate implies a complete clearance from an accusation or charge and from any attendant suspicion of blame or guilt. exonerated by the investigation acquit implies a formal decision in one's favor with respect to a definite charge. voted to acquit the defendant 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

Examples of acquit in a Sentence

The jury acquitted the defendant because there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of the crime. acquitted of the robbery charge after proving he was nowhere near the scene of the crime
Recent Examples on the Web In the end, McConnell voted to acquit the ex-president of inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, 5 May 2021 The Senate voted to acquit the former president in February. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, 2 May 2021 But Saturday's Senate vote to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial was worse. Steve Chapman, Star Tribune, 16 Feb. 2021 The jury could also vote to acquit Latanowich of murder outright. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 2021 But even some Republicans like Lankford, who voted to acquit Trump, have drawn primary opponents even more devoted to the former President. Lauren Fox And Alex Rogers, CNN, 30 July 2021 In the 1992 trial of the four police officers who beat Rodney King in Los Angeles, the decision to acquit by an all-white jury led to threats as part of the city erupted in riots and uprisings. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2021 The jury's decision nearly 30 years ago to acquit the officers — three white and one Hispanic — unleashed days of deadly rioting that devastated parts of Los Angeles and cleaved the city's communities along racial lines. NBC News, 20 Apr. 2021 Prosecutors appealed the 2019 ruling, saying the decision to acquit was wrong and asking appeals judges to declare a mistrial, but the appeals panel rejected all their arguments. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, 31 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acquit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acquit

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for acquit

Middle English aquiten, borrowed from Anglo-French aquiter, from a-, prefix forming transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + -quiter, verbal derivative of quite "free, discharged" — more at quit entry 1

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The first known use of acquit was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near acquit

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acquit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acquit. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for acquit

acquit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of acquit

: to decide that someone is not guilty of a crime

acquit

verb
ac·​quit | \ ə-ˈkwit How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
acquitted; acquitting

Kids Definition of acquit

1 : to declare innocent of a crime or of wrongdoing
2 : to behave in a certain way You are to acquit yourselves as young ladies and gentlemen.

acquit

verb
ac·​quit | \ ə-ˈkwit How to pronounce acquit (audio) \
acquitted; acquitting

Legal Definition of acquit

transitive verb

: to discharge completely: as
a : to release from liability for a debt or other obligation usually used in agreements forever release, acquit, and discharge each other
b : to absolve (a criminal defendant) of a charge by judicial process
c : to clear of wrongdoing the fact…does not acquit them of misrepresentationIn re Hiller, 694 P.2d 540 (1985)

intransitive verb

: to absolve a defendant of criminal liability must acquit if any reasonable doubt existedCommonwealth v. Gagliardi, 638 N.E.2d 20 (1994) — compare convict

History and Etymology for acquit

Old French acquiter to pay off, absolve, acquit, from a-, prefix marking causation + quite free (of an obligation)

More from Merriam-Webster on acquit

Nglish: Translation of acquit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acquit for Arabic Speakers

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