excuse vs justify what difference

what is difference between excuse and justify

English

Etymology

From Middle English excusen (verb) and excuse (noun), borrowed from Old French escuser (verb) and excuse (noun), from Latin excūsō, excūsāre (to excuse, allege in excuse, literally, free from a charge), from ex (out) + causa (a charge); see cause, accuse and recuse. Displaced native Old English lādian (to excuse) and lādung (an excuse).

Pronunciation

Verb
  • (UK) enPR: ĭkskyo͞oz’, IPA(key): /ɪkˈskjuːz/, /ɛksˈkjuːz/
  • (US) enPR: ĭkskyo͞oz’, IPA(key): /ɪksˈkjuz/, /ɛksˈkjuz/
  • Rhymes: -uːz
Noun
  • (UK) enPR: ĭkskyo͞os’, IPA(key): /ɪkˈskjuːs/, /ɛksˈkjuːs/
  • (US) enPR: ĭkskyo͞os’, IPA(key): /ɪksˈkjus/, /ɛksˈkjus/
  • Rhymes: -uːs

Verb

excuse (third-person singular simple present excuses, present participle excusing, simple past and past participle excused)

  1. (transitive) To forgive; to pardon.
    • c. 1685, John Sharp, A Discourse of Conscience
      If they say that he did sin in doing this, then they must at the same time acknowledge that a man’s persuasion that a thing is a duty will not excuse him from guilt in practising it
  2. (transitive) To allow to leave, or release from any obligation.
  3. (transitive) To provide an excuse for; to explain, with the aim of alleviating guilt or negative judgement.
  4. To relieve of an imputation by apology or defense; to make apology for as not seriously evil; to ask pardon or indulgence for.
    • Think ye that we excuse ourselves to you?

Synonyms

  • (to release from guilt, shame, or punishment): forgive, let off the hook, let pass, pardon, unguilt

Antonyms

  • (to release from guilt, shame, or punishment): blame, punish

Derived terms

  • ‘scuse
  • excuse me
  • excuse my French
  • XQs

Translations

Noun

excuse (countable and uncountable, plural excuses)

  1. (countable, uncountable) Explanation designed to avoid or alleviate guilt or negative judgment; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault.
    • 1604-11, Bible (King James Version), Luke: XIV:18
      And they all with one consent began to make excuse.
  2. (law) A defense to a criminal or civil charge wherein the accused party admits to doing acts for which legal consequences would normally be appropriate, but asserts that special circumstances relieve that party of culpability for having done those acts.
  3. (with preceding negative adjective, especially sorry, poor or lame) An example of something that is substandard or of inferior quality.

Usage notes

  • We often say to make an excuse.

Synonyms

  • (explanation designed to avoid or alleviate guilt or negative judgment): pretext release, clear, justify, forgive, tolerate, overlook, exempt, pardon, discharge, pretext, bear with, acquit, exonerate, absolve, pretense, vindicate.

Translations

Further reading

  • excuse in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • excuse in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

French

Etymology

From excuser.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɛk.skyz/
  • (Colloquial) IPA(key): /ɛs.skyz/

Noun

excuse f (plural excuses)

  1. excuse

Verb

excuse

  1. first-person singular present indicative of excuser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of excuser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of excuser
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of excuser
  5. second-person singular imperative of excuser

Further reading

  • “excuse” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).

Latin

Participle

excūse

  1. vocative masculine singular of excūsus

Spanish

Verb

excuse

  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of excusar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of excusar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of excusar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of excusar.


English

Alternative forms

  • justifie (obsolete)

Etymology

From Middle English justifien, from Old French justifier, from Late Latin justificare (make just), from Latin justus, iustus (just) + ficare (make), from facere, equivalent to just +‎ -ify.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪ/
  • Hyphenation: jus‧ti‧fy

Verb

justify (third-person singular simple present justifies, present participle justifying, simple past and past participle justified)

  1. (transitive) To provide an acceptable explanation for.
    How can you justify spending so much money on clothes?
    Paying too much for car insurance is not justified.
  2. (transitive) To be a good, acceptable reason for; warrant.
    Nothing can justify your rude behaviour last night.
    • 1861, Edward Everett, The Great Issues Now Before the Country, An oration delivered at the New York Academy of Music, July 4, 1861, New York: James G. Gregory, p. 8,[1]
      Unless the oppression is so extreme as to justify revolution, it would not justify the evil of breaking up a government, under an abstract constitutional right to do so.
  3. (transitive) To arrange (text) on a page or a computer screen such that the left and right ends of all lines within paragraphs are aligned.
    The text will look better justified.
  4. (transitive) To absolve, and declare to be free of blame or sin.
    • c. 1590, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, Act II, Scene 3,[2]
      I cannot justify whom the law condemns.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Acts 13.39,[3]
      And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
  5. (reflexive) To give reasons for one’s actions; to make an argument to prove that one is in the right.
    She felt no need to justify herself for deciding not to invite him.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Luke 16.15,[4]
      And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
    • 1848, Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Chapter 13,[5]
      [] I was equally unable to justify myself and unwilling to acknowledge my errors []
  6. To prove; to ratify; to confirm.
    • c. 1608, William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Act V, Scene 1,[6]
      She is not dead at Tarsus, as she should have been,
      By savage Cleon: she shall tell thee all;
      When thou shalt kneel, and justify in knowledge
      She is thy very princess.
    • c. 1610, William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act I, Scene 2,[7]
      [] say
      My wife’s a hobby-horse, deserves a name
      As rank as any flax-wench that puts to
      Before her troth-plight: say’t and justify’t.
  7. (law) To show (a person) to have had a sufficient legal reason for an act that has been made the subject of a charge or accusation.
  8. (law) To qualify (oneself) as a surety by taking oath to the ownership of sufficient property.
    • 1839, John Bouvier, A Law Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America and of the Several States of the American Union, Philadelphia: T. & J.W. Johnson, Volume I, p. 557,[8]
      JUSTIFYING BAIL, practice, is the production of bail in court, who there justify themselves against the exception of the plaintiff.

Related terms

  • -fy
  • just
  • justification
  • justifiable
  • justifiably
  • unjustified

Translations


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