American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To release (a person) from punishment; exempt from penalty: a convicted criminal who was pardoned by the governor.
- v. To let (an offense) pass without punishment.
- v. To make courteous allowance for; excuse: Pardon me, I'm in a hurry. See Synonyms at forgive.
- n. The act of pardoning.
- n. Law Exemption of a convicted person from the penalties of an offense or crime by the power of the executor of the laws.
- n. Law An official document or warrant declaring such an exemption.
- n. Allowance or forgiveness for an offense or a discourtesy: begged the host's pardon for leaving early.
- n. Roman Catholic Church An indulgence.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To remit the penalty or punishment due on account of (an offense); pass by or leave without penalty, resentment, or blame; forgive; overlook.
- To absolve (an offender) from liability for an offense or crime committed; release (a person) from the punishment or penalty due on account of some fault or offense.
- To excuse; indulge; especially, to excuse from doing something.
- Synonyms Pardon, Forgive. These words are often synonymous. Strictly, pardon expresses the act of an official or a superior, remitting all or the remainder of the punishment that belongs to an offense: as, the queen or the governor pardons a convict before the expiration of his sentence. Forgive refers especially to the feelings; it means that one not only resolves to overlook the offense and reestablishes amicable relations with the offender, but gives up all ill feeling against him. See pardon, n.
- n. Forgiveness of an offender or of his offense or crime; a passing over without punishment; remission of penalty.
- n. In law, a free remission of the legal consequences of guilt or of some part of them; an act of grace proceeding from the power charged with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the law prescribes for a crime he has committed. Marshall. Mere mitigation of punishment is not pardon. Pardon is sometimes used in the more general sense which includes amnesty. In Great Britain the pardoning of offenses against the crown or the people rests with the crown, except in certain specified cases. Pardon is granted under the great seal or by warrant under the sign manual, countersigned by one of the principal secretaries of state, or by act of Parliament. Offenders against the laws of the United States may be pardoned by the President, except in cases of impeachment. In nearly all the States, persons convicted of crimes under the State laws, except in cases of treason and impeachment, may be pardoned by the governor, the governor and council, or the governor and board of pardons.
- n. The deed or warrant by which such remission is declared. Delivery is essential to its validity, and delivery is not complete without acceptance; but in some cases constructive acceptance has been held sufiicient, as where it was delivered to the jailer, the prisoner being ignorant of it.
- n. A papal indulgence, or remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, usually for a stated time.
- n. Allowance; excuse.
- n. Forgiveness for an offence.
- n. law An order that releases a convicted criminal without further punishment, prevents future punishment, or (in some jurisdictions) removes an offence from a person's criminal record, as if it had never been committed.
- v. transitive To forgive.
- v. transitive, law To grant an official pardon for a crime; unguilt.
- interj. Often used when someone does not understand what another person says.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of pardoning; forgiveness, as of an offender, or of an offense; release from penalty; remission of punishment; absolution.
- n. An official warrant of remission of penalty.
- n. The state of being forgiven.
- n. (Law) A release, by a sovereign, or officer having jurisdiction, from the penalties of an offense, being distinguished from
amnesty, which is a general obliteration and canceling of a particular line of past offenses.
- v. To absolve from the consequences of a fault or the punishment of crime; to free from penalty; -- applied to the offender.
- v. To remit the penalty of; to suffer to pass without punishment; to forgive; -- applied to offenses.
- v. To refrain from exacting as a penalty.
- v. obsolete To give leave (of departure) to.
- v. accept an excuse for
- v. grant a pardon to
- n. the formal act of liberating someone
- n. the act of excusing a mistake or offense
- n. a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense
- Middle English pardonen from Old French pardoner from Vulgar Latin *perdonare, from per- + donare, a loan-translation of a Germanic word represented by Frankish *firgeban (“to forgive, give up completely”), from fir- + geban. Akin to Old High German fargeban, firgeban ("to forgive"), Old English forġiefan ("to forgive"). More at forgive. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English pardonen, from Old French pardoner, from Vulgar Latin *perdōnāre, to give wholeheartedly : Latin per-, intensive pref.; see per- + Latin dōnāre, to present, forgive (from dōnum, gift). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Fear not -- They were afraid that they should not obtain pardon from the Chaldeans for their acts.”
“I am not an expert in this are, but to my knowledge once a pardon is actually executed, it is irrevocable.”
“Under Biddle a pardon is a public act, no need for delivery.”
“I strenuously reject the word 'pardon,' because I did not commit a crime to be pardoned by the leader of the army.”
“But to any freedom-loving Ethiopian or any other reasonable human being, the "pardon" is nothing more than the reveries of a self-absorbed megalomaniac garbed in legalistic hokum.”
“The power to pardon is given to the President and not to Congress.”
“Birtukan's pardon is seen as a magnanimous gesture to the international community at a time when Ethiopia's weak opposition parties have been effectively demolished.”
“Martin Bento has nailed a specific feature of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that in order to receive the pardon from the T&RC, the person had to tell the truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth.”
“The exonerated man, Timothy Cole, later received a posthumous pardon from the governor.”
“The alleged fact that she has denied a pardon is taken as an article of faith without any proof of the offending statement.”
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