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—v., -cused, -cus•ing,
1. to regard or judge with forgiveness or indulgence; pardon or forgive; overlook (a fault, error, etc.): Excuse his bad manners.
2. to offer an apology for; seek to remove the blame of: He excused his absence by saying that he was ill.
3. to serve as an apology or justification for; justify: Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
4. to release from an obligation or duty: to be excused from jury duty.
5. to seek or obtain exemption or release for (oneself): to excuse oneself from a meeting.
6. to refrain from exacting; remit; dispense with: to excuse a debt.
7. to allow (someone) to leave: If you'll excuse me, I have to make a telephone call.
8. Excuse me, (used as a polite expression, as when addressing a stranger, when interrupting or disagreeing with someone, or to request repetition of what has just been said.)
1. an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.: His excuse for being late was unacceptable.
2. a ground or reason for excusing or being excused: Ignorance is no excuse.
3. the act of excusing someone or something.
4. a pretext or subterfuge: He uses his poor health as an excuse for evading all responsibility.
5. an inferior or inadequate specimen of something specified: That coward is barely an excuse for a man. Her latest effort is a poor excuse for a novel.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.