V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: to free somebody from guilt or blame, especially with supporting evidence (formal)

Synonyms: absolve, acquit, dismiss, pardon, exonerate, vindicate

Antonyms: blame, condemn, convict, inculpate, indict

Tips: Exculpate is derived from the Latin ex-, "out of" with culpa, "guilt." You may have heard the Latin phrase mea culpa, which translates to "my guilt, my fault," and you have most likely heard the word culprit, "someone who is guilty." To exculpate is "to free from guilt." Exculpate is a formal term, many times used in legalese to discuss release from blame. The word exculpatory is an adjective used to describe evidence which frees a person from guilt or blame. Exculpate is similar in meaning to exonerate and vindicate. See a detailed analysis at exonerate.

Usage Examples:

The jury has the power to exculpate the defendant in a case. (acquit, absolve, find "not guilty")

With new DNA evidence, the incarcerated man was exculpated. (pardoned, exonerated)

There was an eye witness, DNA, and other exculpatory evidence that clearly pointed to his innocence. (freeing, vindicating) adjective

I'm afraid you are going to need more exculpatory evidence if you want me to believe your story. (freeing, exonerating) adjective

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