Meaning of “excuse” - Learner’s Dictionary


verb [ T ] uk us /ɪkˈskjuːz/

B1 to forgive someone for something that is not very serious:

Please excuse my appearance, I've been painting.
[ + for + doing sth ] She asked him to excuse her for being so rude.

to say that someone does not have to do something that they usually have to do:

Could I be excused from football training today?

B2 to be given as a reason for someone's bad behaviour, so that it does not seem so bad:

Nothing can excuse what he did.
excuse me

A1 used to politely get someone's attention:

Excuse me, does this bus go to Oxford Street?

A2 used to say sorry for something that you do without intending to:

Oh, excuse me, did I take your seat?
excusable adjective

(Definition of “excuse verb” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)