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tr.v. ex·cused, ex·cus·ing, ex·cus·es
a. To make allowance for; overlook or forgive: Please excuse the interruption.
b. To grant pardon to; forgive: We quickly excused the latecomer.
a. To apologize for (oneself) for an act that could cause offense: She excused herself for being late.
b. To explain (a fault or offense) in the hope of being forgiven or understood; try to justify: He arrived late and excused his tardiness by blaming it on the traffic. See Synonyms at forgive.
3. To serve as justification for: Witty talk does not excuse bad manners.
4. To free, as from an obligation or duty; exempt: She was excused from jury duty because she knew the plaintiff.
5. To give permission to leave; release: The child ate quickly and asked to be excused.
n. (ĭk-skyo͞os′)
1. An explanation offered to justify or obtain forgiveness.
2. A reason or grounds for excusing: Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.
3. The act of excusing.
4. A note explaining an absence.
5. Informal An inferior example: a poor excuse for a poet; a sorry excuse for a car.
Excuse me
1. Used to acknowledge and ask forgiveness for an action that could cause offense.
2. Used to request that a statement be repeated.

[Middle English excusen, ultimately (partly via Old French excuser) from Latin excūsāre : ex-, ex- + causa, lawsuit; see cause.]

ex·cus′a·ble adj.
ex·cus′a·ble·ness n.
ex·cus′a·bly adv.
ex·cus′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (tr)
1. to pardon or forgive: he always excuses her unpunctuality.
2. to seek pardon or exemption for (a person, esp oneself): to excuse oneself for one's mistakes.
3. to make allowances for; judge leniently: to excuse someone's ignorance.
4. to serve as an apology or explanation for; vindicate or justify: her age excuses her behaviour.
5. to exempt from a task, obligation, etc: you are excused making breakfast.
6. to dismiss or allow to leave: he asked them to excuse him.
7. to seek permission for (someone, esp oneself) to leave: he excused himself and left.
8. be excused euphemistic to go to the lavatory
9. excuse me! an expression used to catch someone's attention or to apologize for an interruption, disagreement, or social indiscretion
10. an explanation offered in defence of some fault or offensive behaviour or as a reason for not fulfilling an obligation, etc: he gave no excuse for his rudeness.
11. informal an inferior example of something specified; makeshift; substitute: she is a poor excuse for a hostess.
12. the act of excusing
[C13: from Latin excusāre, from ex-1 + -cūsare, from causa cause, accusation]
exˈcusable adj
exˈcusableness n
exˈcusably adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(v. ɪkˈskyuz; n. -ˈskyus)

v. -cused, -cus•ing,
n. v.t.
1. to regard or judge with indulgence; pardon or forgive; overlook (a fault, error, etc.).
2. to offer an apology for; seek to remove the blame of: He excused his absence by saying that he was ill.
3. to serve as an apology or justification for; justify: Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
4. to release from an obligation or duty: to be excused from jury duty.
5. to seek or obtain exemption or release for (oneself): to excuse oneself from a meeting.
6. to refrain from exacting; remit; dispense with: to excuse a debt.
7. to allow (someone) to leave: If you'll excuse me, I have to make a telephone call.
8. an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.
9. a ground or reason for excusing or being excused: Ignorance is no excuse.
10. the act of excusing someone or something.
11. a pretext or subterfuge.
12. an inferior or inadequate specimen of something specified: His latest effort is a poor excuse for a poem.
Excuse me, (used as a polite expression in requesting permission to pass or when interrupting or disagreeing with someone).
[1175–1225; Middle English escusen < Old French escuser < Latin excūsāre=ex- ex-1 + -cūsāre, derivative of causa cause]
ex•cus′a•ble, adj.
ex•cus′a•bly, adv.
ex•cus′er, n.
syn: excuse, forgive, pardon imply being lenient or giving up the wish to punish. excuse means to overlook some (usu.) slight offense, because of circumstance, realization that it was unintentional, or the like: to excuse rudeness. forgive is applied to excusing more serious offenses; the person wronged not only overlooks the offense but harbors no ill feeling against the offender: to forgive and forget. pardon often applies to an act of leniency or mercy by an official or superior; it usu. involves a serious offense or crime: The governor was asked to pardon the condemned criminal.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Excuse can be a noun or a verb. When it is a noun, it is pronounced /ɪk'skjuːs/. When it is a verb, it is pronounced /ɪk'skjuːz/.

1. used as a noun

An excuse is a reason that you give in order to explain why something has been done, has not been done, or will not be done.

They are trying to find excuses for their failures.
There is no excuse for this happening in a new building.

You say that someone makes an excuse.

I made an excuse and left the meeting early.
You don't have to make any excuses to me.

Be Careful!
Don't say that someone 'says an excuse'.

2. used as a verb

If someone is excused from doing something, they are officially allowed not to do it.

She is usually excused from her duties during the school holidays.
You can apply to be excused payment if your earnings are low.

In conversation, if you say you must excuse yourself or if you ask someone to excuse you, you are saying politely that you must leave.

Now I must excuse myself.
You'll have to excuse me; I ought to be saying goodnight.

If you excuse someone for something wrong they have done, you decide not to criticize them or be angry with them.

Such delays cannot be excused.
Please excuse my bad handwriting.
3. 'forgive'

Forgive is used in a similar way. However, when you say that you forgive someone, you usually mean that you have already been angry with them or argued with them. You cannot use 'excuse' in this way.

I forgave him everything.
4. 'excuse me'

People often say Excuse me as a way of politely apologizing for something they are going to do. For example, you can say Excuse me when you are interrupting someone, when you want to get their attention, or when you want to get past them.

Excuse me, but are you Mr Hess?
5. 'apologize'

However, when people say they are sorry for something they have done, don't say that they 'excuse themselves'. You say that they apologize. If you want to say that you are sorry for something you have done, you say Sorry, I'm sorry, or I apologize.

She apologized for being so unkind.
'You're late.' – 'Sorry.'
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: excused
Gerund: excusing

I excuse
you excuse
he/she/it excuses
we excuse
you excuse
they excuse
I excused
you excused
he/she/it excused
we excused
you excused
they excused
Present Continuous
I am excusing
you are excusing
he/she/it is excusing
we are excusing
you are excusing
they are excusing
Present Perfect
I have excused
you have excused
he/she/it has excused
we have excused
you have excused
they have excused
Past Continuous
I was excusing
you were excusing
he/she/it was excusing
we were excusing
you were excusing
they were excusing
Past Perfect
I had excused
you had excused
he/she/it had excused
we had excused
you had excused
they had excused
I will excuse
you will excuse
he/she/it will excuse
we will excuse
you will excuse
they will excuse
Future Perfect
I will have excused
you will have excused
he/she/it will have excused
we will have excused
you will have excused
they will have excused
Future Continuous
I will be excusing
you will be excusing
he/she/it will be excusing
we will be excusing
you will be excusing
they will be excusing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been excusing
you have been excusing
he/she/it has been excusing
we have been excusing
you have been excusing
they have been excusing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been excusing
you will have been excusing
he/she/it will have been excusing
we will have been excusing
you will have been excusing
they will have been excusing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been excusing
you had been excusing
he/she/it had been excusing
we had been excusing
you had been excusing
they had been excusing
I would excuse
you would excuse
he/she/it would excuse
we would excuse
you would excuse
they would excuse
Past Conditional
I would have excused
you would have excused
he/she/it would have excused
we would have excused
you would have excused
they would have excused
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.excuse - a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.excuse - a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.; "he kept finding excuses to stay"; "every day he had a new alibi for not getting a job"; "his transparent self-justification was unacceptable"
vindication, defense, defence - the justification for some act or belief; "he offered a persuasive defense of the theory"
extenuation, mitigation - a partial excuse to mitigate censure; an attempt to represent an offense as less serious than it appears by showing mitigating circumstances
2.excuse - a note explaining an absence; "he had to get his mother to write an excuse for him"
billet, short letter, note, line - a short personal letter; "drop me a line when you get there"
3.excuse - a poor example; "it was an apology for a meal"; "a poor excuse for an automobile"
example, instance, illustration, representative - an item of information that is typical of a class or group; "this patient provides a typical example of the syndrome"; "there is an example on page 10"
Verb1.excuse - accept an excuse for; "Please excuse my dirty hands"
forgive - stop blaming or grant forgiveness; "I forgave him his infidelity"; "She cannot forgive him for forgetting her birthday"
2.excuse - grant exemption or release to; "Please excuse me from this class"
frank - exempt by means of an official pass or letter, as from customs or other checks
absolve, justify, free - let off the hook; "I absolve you from this responsibility"
3.excuse - serve as a reason or cause or justification of; "Your need to sleep late does not excuse your late arrival at work"; "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again"
alibi - exonerate by means of an alibi
vindicate, justify - show to be right by providing justification or proof; "vindicate a claim"
4.excuse - defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning; "rationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior"; "he rationalized his lack of success"
colour, gloss, color - give a deceptive explanation or excuse for; "color a lie"
plead - offer as an excuse or plea; "She was pleading insanity"
defend, fend for, support - argue or speak in defense of; "She supported the motion to strike"
extenuate, mitigate, palliate - lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of; "The circumstances extenuate the crime"
5.excuse - ask for permission to be released from an engagement
call for, request, bespeak, quest - express the need or desire for; ask for; "She requested an extra bed in her room"; "She called for room service"
6.excuse - excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with; "excuse someone's behavior"; "She condoned her husband's occasional infidelities"
forgive - stop blaming or grant forgiveness; "I forgave him his infidelity"; "She cannot forgive him for forgetting her birthday"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


2. pretext, evasion, pretence, cover-up, expedient, get-out, cop-out (slang), subterfuge It was just an excuse to get out of going to school.
3. (Informal) poor substitute, apology, mockery, travesty He is a pathetic excuse for a father.
1. justify, explain, defend, vindicate, condone, mitigate, apologize for, make excuses for I know you're upset but that doesn't excuse your behaviour.
justify accuse, blame, correct, condemn, punish, compel, oblige, criticize, censure, hold responsible, chastise, chasten, point a or the finger at
3. free, relieve, liberate, exempt, release, spare, discharge, let off, absolve She was excused from her duties for the day.
free charge, sentence, convict, indict, arraign
excuse me I beg your pardon, sorry, pardon, pardon me Excuse me, but could I just squeeze past you?
"And oftentimes excusing of a fault"
"Doth make the fault the worser by th'excuse" [William Shakespeare King John]
"Several excuses are always less convincing than one" [Aldous Huxley Point Counter Point]
"A real failure does not need an excuse. It is an end in itself" [Gertrude Stein Four in America]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. To grant forgiveness to or for:
2. To show to be just, right, or valid:
3. To free from an obligation or duty:
1. An explanation offered to justify an action or make it better understood:
2. A statement of acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon:
apology, mea culpa, regret (used in plural).
3. The act or an instance of forgiving:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
عُذرعُذْريَعْذِرُيَعْذُر، يَتَغاضى عَنيُعْفي
afsakaafsökunveita undanòágu, sleppa viî
biện minhlý do bào chữa


A. [ɪksˈkjuːs] N (= justification) → excusa f, disculpa f; (= pretext) → pretexto m
there's no excuse for thisesto no admite disculpa
it's only an excusees un pretexto nada más
on the excuse thatcon el pretexto de que ...
to make excuses for sbpresentar disculpas por algn
he's only making excusesestá buscando pretextos
he made his excuses and leftpresentó sus excusas y se marchó
he gives poverty as his excusealega su pobreza
what's your excuse this time?¿qué excusa or disculpa me das esta vez?
B. [ɪksˈkjuːz] VT
1. (= forgive) → disculpar, perdonar
to excuse sb sthperdonar algo a algn
excuse me! (asking a favour) → por favor, perdón; (interrupting sb) → perdóneme; (when passing) → perdón, con permiso; (= sorry) → ¡perdón!; (on leaving table) → ¡con permiso!
excuse me? (US) → ¿perdone?, ¿mande? (Mex)
now, if you will excuse mecon permiso ...
if you will excuse me I must gocon permiso de ustedes tengo que marcharme
may I be excused for a moment?¿puedo salir un momento?
2. (= justify) → justificar
that does not excuse his conducteso no justifica su conducta
to excuse o.s. (for sth/for doing sth)pedir disculpas (por algo/por haber hecho algo)
3. (= exempt) to excuse sb (from sth/from doing sth)dispensar or eximir a algn (de algo/de hacer algo)
to excuse o.s. (from sth/from doing sth)dispensarse (de algo/de hacer algo)
after ten minutes he excused himselfdespués de diez minutos pidió permiso y se fue
to ask to be excusedpedir permiso
I must ask to be excused this timeesta vez les ruego que me dispensen or disculpen
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nexcuse f
an excuse to do sth → une excuse pour faire qch
an excuse not to do sth → une excuse pour ne pas faire qch
There's no excuse for such behaviour → Un tel comportement est inexcusable.
to make an excuse → trouver une excuse
to make excuses for sb → trouver des excuses à qn
[ɪkˈskjuːz] vt
(= justify) [+ behaviour] → excuser, justifier
(= pardon) [+ person, behaviour] → excuser
to excuse sb for sth → excuser qn pour qch
to excuse sb for doing sth (in present, future)excuser qn de faire qch; (in past)excuser qn d'avoir fait qch
excuse me! → excusez-moi!, pardon!
excuse me please (in crowd)excusez-moi, s'il vous plaît
Excuse me, can I squeeze past please? → Excusez-moi, est-ce que je peux passer, s'il vous plaît?
excuse me? (US) (= what did you say?) → pardon?
now if you will excuse me, ... → maintenant, si vous (le) permettez ...
(= exempt) to excuse sb from sth [+ activity, task] → dispenser qn de qch
to be excused from doing sth → être dispensé(e) de faire qch
to excuse o.s. (= apologize) → s'excuser
to excuse o.s. for sth → s'excuser de qch
to excuse o.s. for doing sth (in past)s'excuser d'avoir fait qchex-directory [ˌɛksdaɪˈrɛktəri] adj (British) ex-directory number → numéro m sur la liste rouge
to be ex-directory → être sur liste rouge
She's ex-directory → Elle est sur liste rouge.
to go ex-directory → se mettre sur liste rouge
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= seek to justify) action, personentschuldigen; such rudeness cannot be excusedso eine Unhöflichkeit ist nicht zu entschuldigen; to excuse oneselfsich entschuldigen (for sth für or wegen etw); he excused himself for being lateer entschuldigte sich, dass er zu spät kam; he excused himself by saying that his English wasn’t very goodzu seiner Entschuldigung sagte er, er spreche nicht gut Englisch
(= pardon) to excuse somebodyjdm verzeihen; to excuse somebody for having done somethingjdm verzeihen, dass er etw getan hat; well, I think I can be excused for believing himnun, man kann es mir wohl nicht übel nehmen, dass ich ihm geglaubt habe; excuse me for interruptingentschuldigen or verzeihen Sie bitte die Störung; if you will excuse the expressionwenn Sie mir den Ausdruck gestatten; excuse me! (= sorry, to get attention, go past, after sneezing etc) → Entschuldigung!, entschuldigen Sie!; (indignant) → erlauben Sie mal!; well, excuse me for asking!entschuldige, dass ich gefragt habe!
(= set free from obligation) to excuse somebody from (doing) somethingjdn von einer Sache befreien, jdm etw erlassen; he is excused attendanceer muss nicht unbedingt anwesend sein; (pupil) → er ist vom Schulbesuch befreit; you are excused (to children) → ihr könnt gehen; can I be excused?darf ich mal verschwinden (inf)?; he excused himself and left the roomer entschuldigte sich und ging aus dem Zimmer; and now if you will excuse me I have work to dound nun entschuldigen Sie mich bitte, ich habe zu arbeiten
(= justification)Entschuldigung f; there’s no excuse for itdafür gibt es keine Entschuldigung; they had no excuse for attacking himsie hatten keinen Grund, ihn anzugreifen; to give something as an excuseetw zu seiner Entschuldigung anführen or vorbringen; he gave two reasons as an excuse for his actioner gab zwei Gründe zur Entschuldigung für seine Tat an
(= pretext)Ausrede f, → Entschuldigung f; to make excuses for somebody/somethingjdn/etw entschuldigen; they made excuses for not having done anything about itsie brachten Ausreden an, warum sie nichts dagegen unternommen hatten; I have a good excuse for not goingich habe eine gute Ausrede or Entschuldigung, warum ich nicht hingehen kann; it was raining — well, that’s your excusees hat geregnet — das ist wohl deine Ausrede or Entschuldigung; excuses, excuses!nichts als Ausreden!; you’re full of excusesdu hast immer eine Ausrede; he’s only making excuseser sucht nur nach einer Ausrede; a good excuse for a partyein guter Grund, eine Party zu feiern
excuses pl (= apology)Entschuldigung f; to offer one’s excusessich entschuldigen
an excuse for a steakein jämmerliches or armseliges Steak
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[n ɪksˈkjuːs; vb ɪksˈkjuːz]
1. nscusa
there's no excuse for this → non ci sono scuse or scusanti per questo
on the excuse that ... → con la scusa or il pretesto che...
to make excuses for sb → trovare giustificazioni per qn
2. vt
a. (forgive) → scusare
excuse me! → mi scusi!
now, if you will excuse me ... → ora mi scusi ma...
excuse me? (Am) → come (dice), scusi?
b. (justify) → giustificare
to excuse o.s. (for (doing) sth) → giustificarsi (per (aver fatto) qc)
c. (exempt) to excuse sb (from sth/from doing sth)esonerare or dispensare qn (da qc/dal fare qc)
to excuse o.s. (from sth/from doing sth) → farsi esonerare or dispensare (da qc/dal fare qc)
to ask to be excused → chiedere di essere scusato/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ikˈskjuːz) verb
1. to forgive or pardon. Excuse me – can you tell me the time?; I'll excuse your carelessness this time.
2. to free (someone) from a task, duty etc. May I be excused from writing this essay?
(ikˈskjuːs) noun
a reason (given by oneself) for being excused, or a reason for excusing. He has no excuse for being so late.
excusable (ikˈskjuːzəbl) adjective
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


عُذْر, يَعْذِرُ omluvit, výmluva undskylde, undskyldning entschuldigen, Entschuldigung δικαιολογία, δικαιολογώ disculpar, excusa puolustella, selitys excuse, excuser ispričati, isprika scusa, scusare 弁解, 弁解する 변명, 변명하다 excuseren, excuus unnskylde, unnskyldning usprawiedliwić, usprawiedliwienie desculpa, desculpar извинять, оправдание ursäkt, ursäkta แก้ตัว, ข้อแก้ตัว özür, özür beyan etmek biện minh, lý do bào chữa 借口, 原谅
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


vt. excusar, perdonar, dispensar;
___ mecon permiso.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
Collins Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n excusa; work — excusa médica para el trabajo
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Excuse me," said D'Artagnan, endeavoring to resume his course, "excuse me, but I am in a hurry."
Now take yourself off and pack your traps; and if I hear another word out of you about what you'll be excused from and what you won't, I lay I'LL excuse you--with a hickory!"
(you'll excuse me, sir) I hear nothing of another dinner to come.
In England alone, the incomprehensible and discourteous custom prevails of keeping the host and the dinner waiting for half an hour or more--without any assignable reason and without any better excuse than the purely formal apology that is implied in the words, "Sorry to be late."
Setting his own interests out of the question, Hardyman owed obligations to the kindness of his illustrious correspondent which made it impossible for him to send an excuse. In a fortnight's time, at the latest, it would be necessary for him to leave England; and a month or more might elapse before it would be possible for him to return.
"In that case," I said, "excuse me if I tell you, in our legal phrase, that you are travelling out of the record.
Weston's fears were justified in the arrival of a letter of excuse. For the present, he could not be spared, to his "very great mortification and regret; but still he looked forward with the hope of coming to Randalls at no distant period."
"I hope your dreams have been pleasanter than that," I ventured at this moment to stammer, rising, a startling apparition, from my ambush behind a mound of brambles; and before she had time to take in the situation I added that I hoped she'd excuse my little pleasantry, and told her how I had noticed her and the wounded bicycle, et cetera, et cetera, as the reader can well imagine, without giving me the trouble of writing it all out.
Insomuch that someone in the Senate, wishing to excuse him, said there were many men who knew much better how not to err than to correct the errors of others.
"Excuse me, but I know nothing," said Levin, frowning gloomily.
D'Artagnan did not believe Athos to be capable of a deception, but he sought an excuse for not going to the rendezvous.
But when the month was drawing to a close she found still another excuse upon which to hang a postponement, until at last, discouraged and doubting, Clayton was forced to go back to England alone.