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tr.v. par·doned, par·don·ing, par·dons
1. To release (a person) from punishment or disfavor for wrongdoing or a fault: a convicted criminal who was pardoned by the governor. See Synonyms at forgive.
2. To allow (an offense or fault) to pass without punishment or disfavor.
3. To make courteous allowance for; excuse: Pardon me, I'm in a hurry.
1. The act of pardoning.
2. Law
a. Exemption of a convicted person from the penalties of an offense or crime by the power of the executor of the laws.
b. An official document or warrant declaring such an exemption.
3. Allowance or forgiveness for an offense or a discourtesy: begged the host's pardon for leaving early.
4. Roman Catholic Church An indulgence.

[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; see dō- in Indo-European roots).]

par′don·a·ble adj.
par′don·a·bly adv.
References in classic literature ?
Of offense, I hope there is none, to either party: of defense, I make none--by God's good mercy, having committed no palpable sin since last entreating his pardoning grace.
The clergyman's shy and sensitive reserve had balked this scheme Roger Chillingworth, however,was inclined to be hardly, if at all, less satisfied with the aspect of affairs, which Providence -- using the avenger and his victim for its own purposes, and, perchance, pardoning, where it seemed most to punish -- had substituted for his black devices A revelation, he could almost say, had been granted to him.
All conspiracies and plots against the government, which have not been matured into actual treason, may be screened from punishment of every kind, by the interposition of the prerogative of pardoning.
The judges of the Supreme Court and justices of the peace seem also to be removable by the legislature; and the executive power of pardoning in certain cases, to be referred to the same department.
The right of pardoning only applies to the guilty," said Treville, who was determined to have the last word, "and my Musketeer is innocent.
He can't bless you while you have one falsehood in your soul; his pardoning mercy can't reach you until you open your heart to him, and say, 'I have done this great wickedness; O God, save me, make me pure from sin.
The part of the king would be confined to simply pardoning the viceroy of Ireland all he should undertake against D'Artagnan.
The same wan day peeps in at Sir Leicester pardoning the repentant country in a majestically condescending dream; and at the cousins entering on various public employments, principally receipt of salary; and at the chaste Volumnia, bestowing a dower of fifty thousand pounds upon a hideous old general with a mouth of false teeth like a pianoforte too full of keys, long the admiration of Bath and the terror of every other commuuity.
It is also necessary to follow a contrary practice to what is established in democracies, for the people should be allowed the power of pardoning, but not of condemning, for the cause should be referred back again to the magistrates: whereas the contrary takes place in republics; for the power of pardoning is with the few, but not of condemning, which is always referred [1299a] to the people at large.
Don't let us come to that, Rosa; or I shall want more pardoning than I like to think of.
Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding.
President Obama has scrupulously avoided pardoning anyone with a high public profile.