Definition of absolve in English:


Syllabification: ab·solve
Pronunciation: /əbˈzälv
, əbˈsälv


[with object]
1Set or declare (someone) free from blame, guilt, or responsibility: the pardon absolved them of any crimes
More example sentences
  • Recovering, he is absolved of his guilt by the understanding daughter.
  • At the same time, the right to free speech does not absolve us from our duty to behave responsibly.
  • Zoë, as loving in her death as she was in her life, tried to absolve her family from guilt.
exonerate, discharge, acquit, vindicate;
release, relieve, liberate, free, deliver, clear, exempt, let off
formal exculpate
1.1 Christian Theology Give absolution for (a sin).
More example sentences
  • In the Roman Catholic Church, it is the sacrament that absolves the sins of an individual through confession.
  • What lay chaplains cannot do is say Mass, anoint the sick, and absolve sin after confession.
  • In the Catholic tradition, absolution from sin is obtained through confession, in which the penitent confesses to a priest who then absolves the sin and administers penitence.


late Middle English: from Latin absolvere 'set free, acquit', from ab- 'from' + solvere 'loosen'.

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