Definition of exculpate in English:



  • Show or declare that (someone) is not guilty of wrongdoing.

    ‘the article exculpated the mayor’
    • ‘One of the striking features of both the first and second videos is the insistence with which [Child F] seeks to exculpate her, and the fact that she does so upon her own initiative.’
    • ‘He also said he had consented to broad FBI searches in an attempt to exculpate himself from any anthrax charges.’
    • ‘Is there any precedent of people being exculpated even though they have admitted they are guilty?’
    • ‘For the CIA to try to pull this off - and to claim that there was nothing in the cables to exculpate my client - was manifestly untrue.’
    • ‘It falls to this judge to search out and collect evidence, both that against the accused and the evidence exculpating him.’
    • ‘But, your Honour, even if you put that to the side, our argument is that we have been oppressed, because we have been held responsible for the costs of the case when what we did was to successfully exculpate ourselves.’
    • ‘Yes, contrary to popular belief, often testing is used to exonerate or exculpate possible suspects rather than implicate.’
    • ‘This seemed to be an easy-to-resolve ambiguity, rather than anything that was going to exculpate anybody.’
    • ‘The right we say to be informed of distressing news, news of the death of a loved one, for example, does not exculpate the negligent driver in relation to the secondary consequences of his or her negligence.’
    • ‘There was however conflict of authority on whether the co-accused is able to use the confession as evidence of truth, for example where the confession exculpates him.’
    • ‘An indictment is valid even if the grand jurors have no knowledge, in voting to indict, that evidence exists that would exculpate the defendant.’
    • ‘‘No one arranged my speech,’ he said, as if exculpating his colleagues from what he was about to say.’
    • ‘The mother in her evidence tried hard to exculpate the father from any responsibility.’
    • ‘But, without exculpating him, his look of horror at the end of a husband-choosing elimination-dance is comprehensible.’
    • ‘It is true that the personal and professional consequences for a doctor who is subject to civil proceedings may be severe, but why should the negligent be exculpated?’
    • ‘Therefore it should not be possible for the director to exculpate himself by consent of the company.’
    • ‘The Crown had to take that statement as a whole so that the version of facts that it contained at once implicated and tended to exculpate the appellant.’
    • ‘Providing an explanation of behavior in terms of understandable epistemological conditions or causes subtly strives to exculpate the agent.’
    • ‘Two so-called ‘impunity laws’ passed in 1986 and 1987 exculpated lower-ranking officers and imposed a definitive date, called ‘final point’, after which the criminals of the dirty war could not be tried.’
    release, liberate, free, set free, let go, let out, allow to leave, let loose, set loose, turn loose
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Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin exculpat- ‘freed from blame’, from the verb exculpare, from ex- ‘out, from’ + Latin culpa ‘blame’.