Definition of acquit in English:



  • 1[with object] Free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty.

    ‘she was acquitted on all counts’
    ‘the jury acquitted him of murder’
    • ‘On Friday she was acquitted of the charge and wept with relief when she realised her nightmare was finally over.’
    • ‘If you think that, because he was so drunk, he did not intend or may not have intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm, then you must acquit him.’
    • ‘But again, we are giving far greater credence to that idea every time a jury acquits another guilty man.’
    • ‘He is acquitted of theft but convicted of handling and sent to prison.’
    • ‘He was acquitted of charges of abuse and fraud in relation to the oil deal.’
    • ‘The third was that there was fresh evidence which could have led the jury to acquit him.’
    • ‘The jury that the accused thought must acquit him, came in with a verdict of guilty within 90 minutes.’
    • ‘The South African attorney general later acquitted her on the grounds of self-defence.’
    • ‘On four of the seven charges he was acquitted; on the other three the jury was unable to agree.’
    • ‘I am reminded by our learned friends that he was acquitted of the offences.’
    • ‘The five officers were acquitted of manslaughter charges on the direction of the trial judge.’
    • ‘A jury needed less than half an hour to acquit him of the charges.’
    • ‘Smith was acquitted of an affray charge and told to pay her fine at £10 a week.’
    • ‘One of those cases saw him being acquitted of suborning perjury in a case involving an animal rights terrorist.’
    • ‘Nine months after his conviction, however, an appeals judge acquitted him of all charges.’
    • ‘A multi-ethnic jury acquits all officers charged in the shooting.’
    • ‘To the amazement of Evangelical Christians, he was acquitted of the charges.’
    • ‘The fact that you have not had a fair trial is irrelevant if you are acquitted.’
    • ‘The four white officers were acquitted on criminal charges a year after the shooting.’
    • ‘In such event they might have acquitted him of murder, though finding him guilty of assisting the offender.’
    absolve, clear, exonerate, exculpate, declare innocent, find innocent, pronounce not guilty
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  • 2Conduct oneself or perform in a specified way.

    ‘all the young women in the contest acquitted themselves well’
    • ‘Of the performances, she acquits herself well in the lead role, but too many of the other performers feel under-used.’
    • ‘However, it was a wonderful event and the performers all acquitted themselves well.’
    • ‘Gearing up for the season ending play-offs, the trip gave enough reassurance of the strength in depth at the Club with both newcomers acquitting themselves with distinction.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, Martha, I feel that the grace with which you have acquitted yourself throughout this entire situation demonstrates the ample strength of your character.’
    • ‘All who are interested in sport and in England's identity as a nation will be thrilled with the honours bestowed on the World Cup Squad who acquitted themselves so magnificently just over a month ago.’
    • ‘The home team acquitted themselves well and showed good spirit throughout to beat the talented Portadown side by 0-14 to 0-5.’
    • ‘I'm relatively sure that I can acquit myself well in an interview as well - but my performance in that interview is less important to me at the moment than getting to it.’
    • ‘Unlike the usual heroine, she has been given enough scope to perform and she acquits herself well.’
    • ‘She still hedges a bit on her command responsibility, but I think she actually acquitted herself quite well in this online discussion.’
    • ‘He acquits himself well as director, and coaxes excellent performances from the adults.’
    • ‘All performers acquitted themselves with considerable talent and enthusiasm and seemed to genuinely enjoy their roles.’
    • ‘On that evening of great significance it cannot have been easy for her to relax into the role, but clearly she acquitted herself well.’
    • ‘They acquitted themselves really well with some fine performances in the First Division of this MAZDA-sponsored AAI event.’
    • ‘They lost just twice all season and finished five points ahead of the pack to charge back to the top flight where they acquitted themselves well with some great performances.’
    • ‘Two of last year's under-14 squad made their championship debuts and both players acquitted themselves extremely well.’
    • ‘She performs a solo of impossible postures, in which she acquits herself with aplomb, but which leaves the spectator's mind and muscles tensed to the point of spasm.’
    • ‘The Community Games Finals took place in Mosney over the past two weekends, with participants from the locality acquitting themselves very well.’
    • ‘There were some fine individual performances in the match with all the team acquitting themselves very well even though some were only making their championship debut.’
    • ‘But with the eyes of the crowd, not to mention several million television viewers, trained on her performance, Tabb acquitted herself well - slight teething problems notwithstanding.’
    • ‘While his performance during the exercise was not especially noteworthy, he acquitted himself satisfactorily overall.’
    conduct oneself, bear oneself
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    1. 2.1archaic Discharge (a duty or responsibility)
      ‘they acquitted themselves of their charge with vigilance’
      • ‘The administration will finally have acquitted itself of the charge of failing to admit its mistakes, but at a terrible price.’
      • ‘We life members of the thinking classes naturally acquit ourselves of bias from the start.’
      • ‘May 1998 be the year that we finally acquit ourselves of it with honour.’
      • ‘They felt they'd acquitted themselves of their minimum responsibility but getting the statement into the technically true category.’
      • ‘Together with Aleksandrov he acquitted himself of this task.’
      discharge, execute, perform, do, carry out, effect, implement, bring about, bring off, accomplish, achieve, fulfil, complete
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Middle English (originally in the sense pay a debt, discharge a liability): from Old French acquiter, from medieval Latin acquitare pay a debt from ad- to + quitare set free.