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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a court clears/acquits sb (=says that they are not guilty)
▪ A US court cleared him of bribery allegations.
be acquitted of/on a charge (=be judged to be not guilty)
▪ Both men were acquitted of all charges.
the jury acquits sb (=says that someone is not guilty)
▪ He was acquitted by a jury when the case came to court.
▪ Few observers expect the jury to acquit Mr Hoskins.
▪ His lawyer thought he had a good chance of being acquitted at the trial, if no further evidence was found.
▪ To her relief she was acquitted of all the charges laid against her.
▪ Director Scott Michell acquits himself admirably; this is his first feature, and it moves along smoothly, professionally, rhythmically.
▪ He has never failed to acquit a client charged with murder.
▪ Her only chance to save herself and her son lies in a vote to acquit.
▪ The black jurors who voted to acquit Simpson reflected the attitudes of their communities and brought their life experiences into the courtroom.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Acquit \Ac*quit"\, p. p. Acquitted; set free; rid of. [Archaic]


Acquit \Ac*quit"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Acquitted; p. pr. & vb. n. Acquitting.] [OE. aquiten, OF. aquiter, F. acquitter; ? (L. ad) + OF. quiter, F. quitter, to quit. See Quit, and cf. Acquiet.]

  1. To discharge, as a claim or debt; to clear off; to pay off; to requite.

    A responsibility that can never be absolutely acquitted.
    --I. Taylor.

  2. To pay for; to atone for. [Obs.]

  3. To set free, release or discharge from an obligation, duty, liability, burden, or from an accusation or charge; -- now followed by of before the charge, formerly by from; as, the jury acquitted the prisoner; we acquit a man of evil intentions.

  4. Reflexively:

    1. To clear one's self.

    2. To bear or conduct one's self; to perform one's part; as, the soldier acquitted himself well in battle; the orator acquitted himself very poorly.

      Syn: To absolve; clear; exonerate; exonerate; exculpate; release; discharge. See Absolve.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 13c., "to satisfy a debt" (either for oneself or on behalf of another), from Old French aquiter "pay, pay up, settle a claim" (12c.), from a "to" (see ad-) + quite "free, clear" (see quit (adj.)). Meanings "set free from charges" and "to discharge one's duty" both recorded from late 14c. Related: Acquitted; acquitting.


vb. 1 To declare or find not guilty; innocent. 2 (context followed by “of”, formerly by “from” English) To set free, release or discharge from an obligation, duty, liability, burden, or from an accusation or charge. 3 (context obsolete rare English) To pay for; to atone for 4 To discharge, as a claim or debt; to clear off; to pay off; to requite, to fulfill. 5 (context reflexive English) To clear one’s self. 6 (context reflexive English) To bear or conduct one’s self; to perform one’s part. 7 (context obsolete English) To release, set free, rescue. 8 (context archaic English) (past participle of acquit English)

  1. v. pronounce not guilty of criminal charges; "The suspect was cleared of the murder charges" [syn: assoil, clear, discharge, exonerate, exculpate] [ant: convict]

  2. behave in a certain manner; "She carried herself well"; "he bore himself with dignity"; "They conducted themselves well during these difficult times" [syn: behave, bear, deport, conduct, comport, carry]

  3. [also: acquitting, acquitted]

Usage examples of "acquit".

Ponter, it seemed unlikely that that would be enough to convince Adjudicator Sard and her associates to acquit Adikor.

He has been governor of the archbishopric of Nueva Caceres for ten years, and has acquitted himself well in what was entrusted to him.

Bossuet, after weighing all historical considerations, felt obliged to acquit Beze of instigating the crime.

And so, Centaine had arranged this meeting, and now she watched her grand-daughter acquit herself with all the aplomb that she had expected of her.

Madame Manzoni told me that I was acting wisely, because, although the judges could not do otherwise than acquit me, everybody knew the real truth of the matter, and Razetta could not fail to be my deadly foe.

As the abbe did not return, I judged that he had faithfully acquitted himself of the commission, and I spent a quiet night.

Not only was Fenayrou accorded extenuating circumstances, but Lucien was acquitted altogether.

The event acquitted her of all the fancifulness, and all the selfishness of imaginary complaints.

The next day the lieutenant of police sent for me, and after he had heard me, as well as the mother and the daughter, he acquitted me and condemned Madame Quinson in costs.

But she is converted and has acquitted herself well in controlling the symbolic retriever.

But he acquitted himself better than I had expected and showed more skill than many an intelligencer properly waged by the government.

If any deep philosophical discussion should occur in England, why, Lully could acquit himself as well as Llull.

The Archbishop of Reims acquitted himself with rare skill and indefatigable zeal.

The end of it was, Tolly Mune acquitted, restored to office in triumph.

Whilst the schools of medicine in this country are as a rule not liable to the charge of vivisectional abuses as regards the higher animals, we cannot altogether acquit them from a rather reckless expenditure of the lives and feelings of cold-blooded creatures.