Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To release (a person) from punishment; exempt from penalty: a convicted criminal who was pardoned by the governor.
  • transitive v. To let (an offense) pass without punishment.
  • transitive 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Forgiveness for an offence.
  • n. 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. To forgive.
  • v. To grant an official pardon for a crime; unguilt.
  • interj. Often used when someone does not understand what another person says.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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. 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.
  • transitive v. To absolve from the consequences of a fault or the punishment of crime; to free from penalty; -- applied to the offender.
  • transitive v. To remit the penalty of; to suffer to pass without punishment; to forgive; -- applied to offenses.
  • transitive v. To refrain from exacting as a penalty.
  • transitive v. To give leave (of departure) to.

from The 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.
  • n. The deed or warrant by which such remission is declared.
  • n. A papal indulgence, or remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, usually for a stated time.
  • n. Allowance; excuse.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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

Etymologies

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)
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)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.