Definition of


  1. (noun, cognition) a poor example
    a poor excuse for an automobile
  2. (noun, communication) a note explaining an absence
  3. (noun, communication) a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.
    every day he had a new alibi for not getting a job
    his transparent self-justification was unacceptable
  4. (verb, communication) excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with
    She condoned her husband's occasional infidelities
  5. (verb, communication) serve as a reason or cause or justification of
    Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again
  6. (verb, communication) grant exemption or release to
  7. (verb, communication) ask for permission to be released from an engagement
  8. (verb, communication) defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning
    he rationalized his lack of success
  9. (verb, communication) accept an excuse for

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Excuse

  1. early 13c., "to clear (someone) from blame," from O.Fr. escuser, from L. excusare "release from a charge," from ex- "out, away" + causa "accusation, legal action" (see cause). Meaning "to obtain exemption or release" is from mid-15c.; that of "to accept another's plea of excuse" is from early 14c. The noun sense of "that which is offered as a reason … more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Words that sound like Excuse

e.g., each, each week, eas, ease, easy, ec, ecc, eccyesis, ecesis, ecg, echo, echoic, eck, ecosoc, eec, eeg, egg, eggs, eggshake, eggwhisk, egis, ego, eisegesis, ekg, eos, eq, equus, equus quagga, es, esaki, esau, eschew, ese, esox, esq, essay, essex, ex, excess, excise

via soundex() Hash Matches

Note: If you're looking to improve your vocabulary right now, we highly recommend Ultimate Vocabulary Software.

Word of the Moment

Jet Black

a very dark black