Definition of exculpate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛkskʌlpeɪt/


[with object] formal
Show or declare that (someone) is not guilty of wrongdoing: the article exculpated the mayor
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • It falls to this judge to search out and collect evidence, both that against the accused and the evidence exculpating him.
  • The mother in her evidence tried hard to exculpate the father from any responsibility.



Pronunciation: /ɛkskʌlˈpeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • However, in this case, it was the applicant and not the prosecution that called the co-accused to give evidence suggesting his exculpation.
  • When I refer to ‘defence’ there, I mean it is an evidentiary burden cast on the accused which is in the nature of exculpation, justification or vindication.
  • Where we disagree, then, is on the relative merit of before-the-fact permission and retroactive exculpation.


Pronunciation: /ɪksˈkʌlpət(ə)ri/
Example sentences
  • The plaintiff, in his affidavit, states that he believes there is exculpatory evidence in the possession of the various prosecuting defendants.
  • It is primarily for the defence to look for and collect evidence aimed at refuting the charges (although if the Prosecutor finds exculpatory evidence, he is duty bound to disclose it to the defence).
  • Defendants have a basic constitutional right of access to exculpatory witnesses in the government's custody, an integral part of the broader right to present a defense.


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin exculpat- 'freed from blame', from the verb exculpare, from ex- 'out, from' + Latin culpa 'blame'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex|cul|pate

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