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English definition of “excuse”

excuse

verb [T] uk   /ɪkˈskjuːz/ us  
B1 to forgive someone: Please excuse me for arriving late - the bus was delayed. Nothing can excuse that sort of behaviour. No amount of financial recompense can excuse the way in which the company carried out its policy. We cannot excuse him for these crimes. I asked the teacher if I could be excused from (= allowed not to do) hockey practice as my knee still hurt. Please excuse me from (= allow me to miss) the rest of the meeting - I've just received a phone call that requires my immediate attention.Making and accepting apologies excuse me A1 a polite way of attracting someone's attention, especially of someone you do not know: Excuse me, does this bus go to Oxford Street?Polite expressions used to politely ask someone to move so that you can walk past them: Excuse me, can I just get past?Polite expressions used to tell someone politely that you are leaving: Excuse me a moment, I'll be with you shortly.Polite expressions A2 used to say sorry for something you have done by accident: Did I take your seat? Do excuse me.Making and accepting apologies said before disagreeing with someone: Excuse me but aren't you forgetting something?Polite expressions US (UK pardon?, I beg your pardon?) used to politely ask someone to repeat something they have said because you have not heard itMaking and accepting apologies

excuse

noun [C] uk   /ɪkˈskjuːs/ us  
B1 a reason that you give to explain why you did something wrong: He'd better have a good excuse for being late. I've never known him to miss a meeting - I'm sure he'll have an excuse. There's no excuse for that sort of behaviour.Reasons and explanations B1 a false reason that you give to explain why you do something: [+ to infinitive] She was just looking for an excuse to call him. Any excuse for a holiday!Reasons and explanations make your excuses to explain why you cannot be present somewhere: Please make my excuses at the meeting on Friday.Making and accepting apologiesDefining and explaining make excuses to give false reasons why you cannot do something: You're always making excuses for not helping me.Defining and explaining
(Definition of excuse from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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