V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary
Definition: 1. to free from charge, obligation, or blame, and officially declare "not guilty"; 2. to release from a task, obligation, or duty
Synonyms: clear, acquit, exculpate, absolve, dismiss, except, excuse, release, free
Antonyms: convict, blame, condemn, incriminate, bind, obligate
Tips: Exonerate is derived from the Latin ex-, "free from" with onus, "burden." Think, to free from the burden of guilt. Exonerate is similar to exculpate and vindicate in its meaning "to absolve of guilt," but exonerate also means "to release from an obligatory debt or duty." Exonerate is most commonly used in the past tense, exonerated. The noun exoneration means "the lifting or erasing of charges."
Even when someone is exonerated of crimes of child abuse, the public may still harbor doubts. (acquitted, officially cleared)
The mentally ill woman was on permanent disability, and therefore her debts were finally exonerated. (dismissed, released)
He was exonerated of all charges against him and was free to leave the prison immediately. (cleared, absolved)
In court, we proved that we did not owe him any money, and we were exonerated from having to pay him. (dismissed, released)
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