Definition of excuse verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪkˈskjuːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈskjuːz//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they excuse
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈskjuːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈskjuːz//
    he / she / it excuses
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈskjuːzɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈskjuːzɪz//
    past simple excused
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈskjuːzd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈskjuːzd//
    past participle excused
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈskjuːzd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈskjuːzd//
    -ing form excusing
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈskjuːzɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈskjuːzɪŋ//
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  1. 1  to forgive somebody for something that they have done, for example not being polite or making a small mistake excuse something Please excuse the mess. excuse somebody You must excuse my father—he's not always that rude. excuse somebody for something/for doing something I hope you'll excuse me for being so late. (British English) You might be excused for thinking that Ben is in charge (= he is not, but it is an easy mistake to make). excuse somebody doing something (formal) Excuse my interrupting you.
  2. 2  excuse something | excuse somebody/yourself (for something/for doing something) to make your or somebody else’s behaviour seem less offensive by finding reasons for it synonym justify Nothing can excuse such rudeness.
  3. 3excuse somebody/yourself (from something) to allow somebody to leave; to say in a polite way that you are leaving Now if you'll excuse me, I'm a very busy man. She excused herself and left the meeting early.
  4. 4[usually passive] excuse somebody (from something/from doing something) | excuse somebody something to allow somebody to not do something that they should normally do She was excused from giving evidence because of her age.
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French escuser (verb), from Latin excusare ‘to free from blame’, from ex- ‘out’ + causa ‘accusation, cause’.Extra examples He tried to excuse his behaviour as ‘a bit of harmless fun’. I asked her to excuse me for my late arrival. You’ll have to excuse Harriet—she’s having a difficult time at work. I hope you’ll excuse me for being so late. You might be excused for thinking that Victoria is in charge. You’ll have to excuse my father—he’s not always that rude.Idioms
    excuse/pardon my French
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    (informal) used to say that you are sorry for swearing
    1. 1  used to politely get somebody’s attention, especially somebody you do not know Excuse me, is this the way to the station?
    2. 2  used to politely ask somebody to move so that you can get past them Excuse me, could you let me through?
    3. 3  used to say that you are sorry for interrupting somebody or behaving in a slightly rude way Guy sneezed loudly. ‘Excuse me,’ he said.
    4. 4  used to disagree politely with somebody Excuse me, but I don't think that's true.
    5. 5  used to politely tell somebody that you are going to leave or talk to somebody else ‘Excuse me for a moment,’ she said and left the room.
    6. 6  (especially North American English) used to say sorry for pushing somebody or doing something wrong Oh, excuse me. I didn't see you there.
    7. 7  excuse me? (North American English) used when you did not hear what somebody said and you want them to repeat it
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: excuse

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