Definition of acquit in English:


Line breaks: ac¦quit
Pronunciation: /əˈkwɪt

verb (acquits, acquitting, acquitted)

1 [with object] Free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty: she was acquitted on all counts the jury acquitted Bream of murder
More example sentences
  • The four white officers were acquitted on criminal charges a year after the shooting.
  • On four of the seven charges he was acquitted; on the other three the jury was unable to agree.
  • The five officers were acquitted of manslaughter charges on the direction of the trial judge.
absolve, clear, exonerate, exculpate, declare innocent, find innocent, pronounce not guilty; discharge, release, liberate, emancipate, free, set free, deliver, spare, exempt, dismiss; vindicate
2 (acquit oneself) Conduct oneself or perform in a specified way: the goalkeeper acquitted himself well
More example sentences
  • All performers acquitted themselves with considerable talent and enthusiasm and seemed to genuinely enjoy their roles.
  • However, it was a wonderful event and the performers all acquitted themselves well.
  • Unlike the usual heroine, she has been given enough scope to perform and she acquits herself well.
2.1 (acquit oneself of) archaic Discharge (a duty or responsibility): they acquitted themselves of their charge with vigilance
More example sentences
  • They felt they'd acquitted themselves of their minimum responsibility but getting the statement into the technically true category.
  • 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.


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'.

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