vindicate

verb
vin·​di·​cate | \ ˈvin-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce vindicate (audio) \
vindicated; vindicating

Essential Meaning of vindicate

1 : to show that (someone) should not be blamed for a crime, mistake, etc. : to show that (someone) is not guilty They have evidence that will vindicate [=exonerate] her. She will be completely vindicated by the evidence.
2 : to show that (someone or something that has been criticized or doubted) is correct, true, or reasonable These discoveries vindicate their theory. Their approach to the problem has been vindicated by the positive results. He felt vindicated when the truth became known.

Full Definition of vindicate

transitive verb

1a : to free from allegation or blame
(2) : to provide justification or defense for : justify
c : to protect from attack or encroachment : defend
2 : avenge
3 : to maintain a right to
4 obsolete : to set free : deliver

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Synonyms & Antonyms for vindicate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for vindicate

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

maintain, assert, defend, vindicate, justify mean to uphold as true, right, just, or reasonable. maintain stresses firmness of conviction. steadfastly maintained his innocence assert suggests determination to make others accept one's claim. asserted her rights defend implies maintaining in the face of attack or criticism. defended his voting record vindicate implies successfully defending. his success vindicated our faith in him justify implies showing to be true, just, or valid by appeal to a standard or to precedent. the action was used to justify military intervention

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").

Examples of vindicate in a Sentence

She will be completely vindicated by the evidence. These discoveries vindicate their theory. Their approach to the problem has been vindicated by the positive results. He felt vindicated when the truth became known.
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Recent Examples on the Web For the record: The Times story didn’t actually vindicate Carlson’s previous contentions. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2021 The swift deposing of the Taliban appeared to vindicate Bush. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 23 Aug. 2021 The posts drew wide attentions from Chinese state media, which used it to vindicate China’s stance on the investigation. Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2021 On April 8, 2020, Barr predicted Durham’s investigation would vindicate Trump during a Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham, further lifting Trump's hopes. Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY, 20 July 2021 The legal and political result of the lawsuit is therefore likely to vindicate Georgia Republicans during the 2022 election season or leading up to 2024, depending on how the lawsuits proceed. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 5 July 2021 Indeed, lumber’s recent cooling appeared to vindicate Powell’s easy-money policies even as the government reported the sharpest 12-month rise in wholesale commodities prices since records began in 1974. BostonGlobe.com, 22 June 2021 Federal prosecutors are supposed to respect the state’s constitutional processes while moving efficiently to vindicate federal interests. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 14 May 2021 Gloria Allred, the women's rights attorney who represents dozens of Cosby accusers, told USA Today that the court decision must be devastating for his accusers, but does not vindicate his actions. USA TODAY, 1 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vindicate.' 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 vindicate

circa 1571, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for vindicate

Latin vindicatus, past participle of vindicare to lay claim to, avenge, from vindic-, vindex claimant, avenger

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Time Traveler for vindicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of vindicate was circa 1571

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Dictionary Entries Near vindicate

vindicable

vindicate

vindication

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vindicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vindicate. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for vindicate

vindicate

verb
vin·​di·​cate | \ ˈvin-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce vindicate (audio) \
vindicated; vindicating

Kids Definition of vindicate

1 : to free from blame or guilt The evidence will vindicate her.
2 : to show to be true or correct Later discoveries vindicated their claim.

More from Merriam-Webster on vindicate

Nglish: Translation of vindicate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vindicate for Arabic Speakers

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