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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce excuse (audio)

Dictionary definition of excuse

To pardon or forgive someone for a mistake, offense, or wrongdoing, thereby releasing them from any blame or responsibility.
"Please excuse my tardiness; I got caught in heavy traffic."

Detailed meaning of excuse

When someone excuses another person, they provide a justification or explanation that alleviates or diminishes the guilt or fault associated with the individual's actions. Excusing can involve understanding and accepting the circumstances or reasons that led to the mistake, acknowledging that it was unintentional or out of the person's control. By excusing someone, we grant them permission to be absolved of any negative consequences or judgment, allowing them to move forward without repercussions or lingering feelings of guilt. Ultimately, excusing is an act of compassion and understanding, offering the opportunity for reconciliation and growth.

Example sentences containing excuse

1. Please excuse me for interrupting the meeting, but I have an important announcement.
2. Can you excuse my lateness?
3. I encountered unexpected traffic on my way here.
4. I apologize for my mistake and I hope you can excuse it.
5. I must excuse myself from the conversation as I have another appointment.
6. Excuse my ignorance, but I'm not familiar with that topic.

History and etymology of excuse

The verb 'excuse' has its roots in Latin and Old French, revealing a fascinating etymological journey. It traces its origins to the Latin word 'excusare,' which is formed from the prefix 'ex,' meaning 'out of' or 'thoroughly,' and 'causa,' meaning 'cause' or 'reason.' Initially, 'excusare' meant to offer a reason or justification for an action or decision. Over time, in Old French, it evolved to include the sense of pardoning or forgiving someone for their actions by providing a valid reason or justification. This transition highlights the etymological connection between explaining a reason and extending forgiveness. In its present-day usage, 'excuse' embodies both meanings, as it can refer to both offering a rationale and pardoning someone for their actions, thus releasing them from blame or responsibility.

Quiz: Find the meaning of excuse

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Further usage examples of excuse

1. Could you excuse my absence from yesterday's event? I was feeling unwell.
2. I hope you can excuse the mess in my office; I've been very busy lately.
3. Excuse me for asking, but may I know your name?
4. I have to excuse myself early from the party, as I have an early morning tomorrow.
5. I must excuse the poor quality of the report; I had limited time to work on it.
6. Excuse the inconvenience caused by the construction work happening outside.
7. Excuse my bluntness, but I think your idea needs more refinement.
8. Please excuse my hesitation; I'm not accustomed to public speaking.
9. I apologize for any confusion caused; let me clarify the situation to excuse any misunderstandings.
10. Excuse me, could you repeat what you just said? I didn't catch it.
11. I need to excuse myself from this commitment; I have too much on my plate.
12. Excuse my interruption, but I have some urgent news to share.
13. I hope you can excuse my forgetfulness; I've been overwhelmed with tasks lately.
14. Please excuse the delay in responding to your email; I was out of the office.
15. I must excuse myself from attending the party; I have a family obligation to attend to.



forgive, blame, accuse, condemn


TOEFL 7, Acknowledgment and Acceptance, Utility and Advancement

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