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Meaning & Definition of Excuse in English

English

Excuse

/ɪkskjus/

noun

1. A defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.

  • "He kept finding excuses to stay"
  • "Every day he had a new alibi for not getting a job"
  • "His transparent self-justification was unacceptable"
    synonym:
  • excuse
  • ,
  • alibi
  • ,
  • exculpation
  • ,
  • self-justification

2. A note explaining an absence

  • "He had to get his mother to write an excuse for him"
    synonym:
  • excuse

3. A poor example

  • "It was an apology for a meal"
  • "A poor excuse for an automobile"
    synonym:
  • apology
  • ,
  • excuse

verb

1. Accept an excuse for

  • "Please excuse my dirty hands"
    synonym:
  • excuse
  • ,
  • pardon

2. Grant exemption or release to

  • "Please excuse me from this class"
    synonym:
  • excuse
  • ,
  • relieve
  • ,
  • let off
  • ,
  • exempt

3. Serve as a reason or cause or justification of

  • "Your need to sleep late does not excuse your late arrival at work"
  • "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again"
    synonym:
  • excuse
  • ,
  • explain

4. Defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning

  • "Rationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior"
  • "He rationalized his lack of success"
    synonym:
  • apologize
  • ,
  • apologise
  • ,
  • excuse
  • ,
  • justify
  • ,
  • rationalize
  • ,
  • rationalise

5. Ask for permission to be released from an engagement

    synonym:
  • excuse
  • ,
  • beg off

6. Excuse, overlook, or make allowances for

  • Be lenient with
  • "Excuse someone's behavior"
  • "She condoned her husband's occasional infidelities"
    synonym:
  • excuse
  • ,
  • condone

Examples of using

That's a sad excuse.
That's a lame excuse for giving up the work.
That's not much of an excuse.