—v.t. 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.)
—n. 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.