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excuse - definition and synonyms


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verb [transitive] excuse pronunciation in British English /ɪkˈskjuːz/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleexcusing
past tenseexcused
past participleexcused
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  1. 1
    to forgive someone for something bad that they have done, especially something that is not very serious

    Please excuse my untidy handwriting.

    excuse someone for (doing) something:

    I hope you’ll excuse us for leaving so early.

  2. 2
    to provide a reason or explanation for something bad that someone has done, in order to make it seem less bad

    I know he’s over 70, but that doesn’t excuse his sexist attitudes.

  3. 3
    [often passive] to give someone permission not to do something that they usually have to do
    excuse someone from (doing) something:

    You’re excused from doing the washing-up tonight.

    1. a.
      to give someone permission to leave

      Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to get going.


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in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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