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15th Century, from Latin absolvere, present active infinitive of absolvō (set free, absolve), from ab + solvō (loose).


  • (UK) IPA: /əbˈzɒlv/
  • (US) IPA: /æbˈzɒlv/, /æbˈsɒlv/
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to Absolve

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to Absolve (third-person singular simple present absolv, present participle ing, simple past and past participle -)

  1. (transitive) To set free, release or discharge (from obligations, debts, responsibility etc.).
    You will absolve a subject from his allegiance.
    • 1855, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James II, volume III:
      Halifax was absolved by a majority of fourteen.
  2. (transitive) To pronounce free from or give absolution for a penalty, blame, sin or guilt.
  3. (transitive, theology) To pronounce free or give absolution from sin.
    • 1782, Edward Gibbon, History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, volume VI:
      In his name I absolve your perjury and sanctify your arms.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To finish; to accomplish.
    • Template:RQ:Milton Lost, line 94
      and the work begun, how soon / Absolv’d,
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To resolve or explain.


  • (set free): excuse, exempt, free, release
  • (pronounce free or give absolution): acquit, exculpate, exonerate, pardon, remit, vindicate
  • (theology: to pronounce free or give absolution from sin): remit

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ar:absolve de:absolve fa:absolve fr:absolve gl:absolve ko:absolve io:absolve it:absolve kn:absolve hu:absolve ml:absolve no:absolve pl:absolve pt:absolve fi:absolve ta:absolve te:absolve th:absolve tr:absolve uk:absolve vi:absolve