Meaning of “pardon” in the English Dictionary

"pardon" in British English

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pardonverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpɑː.dən/ us /ˈpɑːr.dən/

to forgive someone for something they have said or done. This word is often used in polite expressions:

Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is ergonomics?
[ + -ing verb ] Pardon me interrupting, but there's a client to see you.

If someone who has committed a crime is pardoned, that person is officially forgiven and their punishment is stopped:

Large numbers of political prisoners have been pardoned and released by the new president.

pardonnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈpɑː.dən/ us /ˈpɑːr.dən/

an occasion when someone who has committed a crime is officially forgiven:

He had actively sought a pardon from the president.

pardonexclamation

uk /ˈpɑː.dən/ us /ˈpɑːr.dən/

A2 US also pardon me used to politely ask someone to repeat something they have said because you did not hear it

See also

US also pardon me, formal or humorous I beg your pardon used to show that someone has said something that offends you:

"Women tend to be fairly useless drivers, anyway." "I beg your pardon!"

More examples

(Definition of “pardon” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pardon" in American English

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pardonverb [ T ]

us /ˈpɑr·dən/

to forgive someone for something:

Satellite radio is about to – pardon the expression (= forgive me for using this phrase) – go into orbit.

If someone who has committed a crime is pardoned, the person is officially forgiven and punishment is stopped:

He was convicted of murder, but was later pardoned by the governor.

Idiom(s)

pardonexclamation

us /ˈpɑr·dən/

said when you have not heard what someone has said to you and you want the person to repeat it:

"The train leaves at 2:15." "Pardon?"

pardonnoun [ C ]

us /ˈpɑr·dən/

forgiveness:

He had actively sought a pardon (= official forgiveness) from the president.

(Definition of “pardon” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)