To free from accusation, or the imputation of fault or blame; to clear from guilt; to release from a charge; to justify by extenuating a fault; to exculpate; to absolve; to acquit.
- To explain (a fault or an offense) in the hope of being forgiven or understood: He arrived late and excused his tardiness in a flimsy manner.
- To apologize for (oneself) for an act that could cause offense: She excused herself for being late.
- To grant pardon to; forgive: We quickly excused the latecomer.
- To make allowance for; overlook: Readers must excuse the author's youth and inexperience. See Synonyms at forgive.
- To serve as justification for: Brilliance does not excuse bad manners.
- To free, as from an obligation or duty; exempt: In my state, physicians and lawyers are excused from jury duty.
- To give permission to leave; release: The child ate quickly and asked to be excused.
- An explanation offered to justify or obtain forgiveness.
- A reason or grounds for excusing: Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.
- The act of excusing.
- A note explaining an absence.
- Informal An inferior example: a poor excuse for a poet; a sorry excuse for a car.
- Excuse me Used to acknowledge and ask forgiveness for an action that could cause offense.
- Excuse me Used to request that a statement be repeated.