English Thesaurus

Synonyms of 'excuse'

(verb) 
Definition
to put forward a reason or justification for (an action, fault, or offending person)
I know you're upset but that doesn't excuse your behaviour.
Synonyms
justify
This decision was fully justified by economic conditions.
, , ,
vindicate
The director said he had been vindicated by the expert's report.
,
condone
I couldn't condone what she was doing.
, ,
apologize for
,
make excuses for
Opposites
, , , , , , , , ,
hold responsible
, , ,
point a or the finger at
(verb) 
Definition
to pardon (a person) or overlook (a fault)
Please excuse me for my late arrival.
Synonyms
forgive
She'll understand and forgive you.
,
pardon
Hundreds of political prisoners were pardoned and released.
,
overlook
He never overlooked his employees' faults.
,
tolerate
I will not tolerate breaches of the code of conduct.
, ,
acquit
He was acquitted of disorderly behaviour by magistrates.
,
pass over
,
turn a blind eye to
,
exonerate
The official report exonerated the school of any blame.
, ,
bear with
,
wink at
,
make allowances for
, ,
(verb) 
Definition
to free (someone) from having to carry out a task, obligation, etc.
She was excused from her duties for the day.
Synonyms
free
It will free us of a whole lot of debt.
,
relieve
He felt relieved of a burden.
,
liberate
How committed is the leadership to liberating its people from poverty?
,
exempt
Companies with fewer than 55 employees would be exempted from these requirements.
,
release
He wants to be released from any promise between us.
,
spare
`Spare me!' he cowered.
,
discharge
You are being discharged on medical grounds.
,
let off
,
absolve
The judicial inquiry absolved the soldiers.
Opposites
(noun) 
Definition
an explanation offered to justify an action which has been criticized or as a reason for not fulfilling an obligation, etc.
There is no excuse for what he did.
Synonyms
justification
I knew there was no justification for what I was doing.
,
reason
I hope you have a good reason for your behaviour.
,
explanation
The president has given no explanation for his behaviour.
,
defence
a spirited defence of the government's economic progress
,
grounds
,
plea
Evidence is being invoked in support of pleas of diminished responsibility.
, , ,
vindication
He called the success a vindication of his party's economic policy.
,
mitigation
In mitigation, the offences were at the lower end of the scale.
,
mitigating circumstances
,
extenuation
Opposites
(noun) 
Definition
an explanation offered to justify an action which has been criticized or as a reason for not fulfilling an obligation, etc.
It was just an excuse to get out of going to school.
Synonyms
pretext
They wanted a pretext to restart the war.
He excused himself on the pretext of a stomach ache.
,
evasion
They face accusations from the Opposition Party of evasion and cover-up.
,
pretence
He claimed the police beat him up under the pretence that he was resisting arrest.
, , ,
get-out
,
cop-out (slang)
She said she was too upset to talk, but that was just a cop-out.
,
subterfuge
Most people can see right through that type of subterfuge.
(noun) 
(informal)  He is a pathetic excuse for a scientist.
Synonyms
poor substitute
,
apology
We received a letter of apology.
, ,
travesty
If he couldn't prepare his case properly the trial would be a travesty.

phrase

See excuse me

Quotations

Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse [Thomas SzaszThe Second Sin]
And oftentimes excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault the worser by th'excuse
[William ShakespeareKing John]
Several excuses are always less convincing than one [Aldous HuxleyPoint Counter Point]A real failure does not need an excuse. It is an end in itself [Gertrude SteinFour in America]

Additional synonyms

in the sense of absolve
Definition
to declare to be free from blame or sin
The judicial inquiry absolved the soldiers.
in the sense of acquit
Definition
to pronounce someone not guilty
He was acquitted of disorderly behaviour by magistrates.
in the sense of apology
Definition
an expression of regret for some wrongdoing
We received a letter of apology.
Synonyms

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Video: pronunciation of 'excuse'

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Thesaurus for excuse from the Collins English Thesaurus
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