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excuse [noun]

a reason that you give to explain why you did something wrong

US /ɪkˈskjuːs/ 
UK /ɪkˈskjuːs/ 

معذوريت‌، عذر، بهانه‌


There's no excuse for what you did.

كارى كه‌ شما كرديد قابل‌ بخشش‌ نيست‌.‏

Oxford Essential Dictionary


When the word excuse is a noun, it ends with a sound like juice or loose. When the word excuse is a verb, it ends with a sound like shoes or choose.

words you say or write to explain why you have done something wrong:
You're late! What's your excuse this time?
There's no excuse for rudeness.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

II. excuse2 S3 /ɪkˈskjuːs/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[Word Family: verb: excuse; noun: excuse; adverb: inexcusably; adjective: excusable ≠ inexcusable]
1. a reason that you give to explain careless or offensive behaviour
excuse for (doing) something
What’s your excuse for being late this time?
I’m tired of listening to his excuses.
2. a reason that you invent to explain an action and to hide your real intentions
excuse to do something
I need an excuse to call her.
excuse for
The conference is just an excuse for a holiday in New York.
3. there is no excuse for something used to say that someone’s behaviour is too bad to be explained or accepted:
There is no excuse for such rudeness.
4. make your excuses to explain why you are not able to do something:
Please make my excuses at the meeting tomorrow.
5. a poor/rotten etc excuse for something used when you think someone or something is very bad:
He’s a rotten excuse for a lawyer. Why on earth did you hire him?
6. American English a note written by your doctor or one of your parents saying that you were ill on a particular day SYN sick note British English
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)
■ verbs
make up/think up/invent an excuse I made up some excuse about my car breaking down. | We’d better think up an excuse, fast.
make excuses for somebody/something (=give reasons which try to explain why someone has made a mistake or behaved badly) His mother was always making excuses for her son's behaviour.
use something as an excuse She never complained or used her illness as an excuse.
look for an excuse I began to look for excuses to avoid seeing him.
give an excuse I'll have to give my boss some kind of excuse.
believe/accept an excuse She didn’t believe his excuse for one minute.
have an excuse Companies have no excuse for breaking the law.
■ adjectives
a good excuse A sunny day is a good excuse to go to the beach.
a wonderful excuse (=a very good excuse) A wedding is a wonderful excuse to buy a new outfit.
a reasonable/plausible excuse (=one that other people will believe) If your train was cancelled, that is a perfectly reasonable excuse.
a legitimate/valid excuse (=one that is true and that other people cannot criticize) He didn’t have a legitimate excuse for being late.
the perfect excuse The phone call gave me the perfect excuse to leave.
a feeble/flimsy/weak excuse (=one that is difficult to believe) Joe muttered some feeble excuse about having a headache.
a pathetic/lame excuse (=very weak) That’s the most pathetic excuse I’ve ever heard.
the usual excuse/the same old excuse He made the usual excuses for not coming. | Whenever the trains are late, it's always the same old excuse.
a convenient excuse The rioting provided the government with a convenient excuse not to hold an election.
■ phrases
use every excuse in the book (=use every possible excuse) He used every excuse in the book to avoid seeing the doctor.
at the slightest excuse (=for any reason, however unimportant) She comes to our house at the slightest excuse.
• • •
■ a reason that does not seem believable
excuse a reason that you give to explain why you have done something bad, or not done something that you should have done – especially one that is not completely true: She said she couldn’t come because she had to work late, but it was just an excuse. | a feeble excuse (=one that is hard to believe)
pretext especially written an untrue reason that you give for doing or not doing something, in order to hide the real reason: He would often find some pretext to go out in the evening alone. | They used this as a pretext for taking military action.


Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

noun   [ɪkˈskjuːs]  ;   [ɪkˈskjuːs]
1. a reason, either true or invented, that you give to explain or defend your behaviour
Late again! What's your excuse this time?
~ (for sth) There's no excuse for such behaviour.
~ (for doing sth) His excuse for forgetting her birthday was that he had lost his diary.
You don't have to make excuses for her (= try to think of reasons for her behaviour).

• It's late. I'm afraid I'll have to make my excuses (= say I'm sorry, give my reasons and leave).

2. a good reason that you give for doing sth that you want to do for other reasons
~ (for sth/for doing sth) It's just an excuse for a party.

~ (to do sth) It gave me an excuse to take the car.

3. a very bad example of sth

• Why get involved with that pathetic excuse for a human being?

4. (NAmE) a note written by a parent or doctor to explain why a student cannot go to school or sb cannot go to work 
Word Origin:
Middle English: from Old French escuser (verb), from Latin excusare ‘to free from blame’, from ex- ‘out’ + causa ‘accusation, cause’.  
excuse noun C
What's your excuse for being late today?
explanationjustificationpretextreasongrounds|BrE defence|AmE defense|law plea
(a/an) excuse/explanation/justification/pretext/reason/grounds for sth
(a) good/valid excuse/justification/reason/grounds/defence
have (a/an) excuse/explanation/justification/pretext/reason/grounds/defence 
explanation grounds basis excuse motive justification pretext
These are all words for a cause or an explanation for sth that has happened or that sb has done.
reasona cause or an explanation for sth that has happened or that sb has done; a fact that makes it right or fair to do sth: He said no but he didn't give a reason.
explanationa statement, fact or situation that tells you why sth has happened; a reason given for sth: The most likely explanation is that his plane was delayed. She left the room abruptly without explanation.
grounds(rather formal) a good or true reason for saying, doing or believing sth: You have no grounds for complaint.
basis(rather formal) the reason why people take a particular action: On what basis will this decision be made?
excusea reason, either true or invented, that you give to explain or defend your behaviour; a good reason that you give for doing sth that you want to do for other reasons: Late again! What's your excuse this time? It gave me an excuse to take the car.
motivea reason that explains sb's behaviour: There seemed to be no motive for the murder.
justification(rather formal) a good reason why sth exists or is done: I can see no possible justification for any further tax increases.
grounds or justification?
Justification is used to talk about finding or understanding reasons for actions, or trying to explain why it is a good idea to do sth. It is often used with words like little, no, some, every, without, and not any. Grounds is used more for talking about reasons that already exist, or that have already been decided, for example by law: moral/economic grounds.
pretext(rather formal) a false reason that you give for doing sth, usually sth bad, in order to hide the real reason: He left the party early on the pretext of having to work.
(a/an) reason/explanation/grounds/basis/excuse/motive/justification/pretext for sth
the reason/motive behind sth
on the grounds/basis/pretext of/that…
(a) good/valid reason/explanation/grounds/excuse/motive/justification 
Example Bank:
Delivering the stuff for Rodney gave me an excuse to take the car.
Don't let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started.
He became moody and unreasonable, flailing out at Katherine at the slightest excuse.
He had no excuse for being so late.
He invented a pathetic excuse about losing his watch.
He made up a rather lame excuse for the work being late.
He made up some stupid excuse to the teachers.
He's run out of excuses for not cleaning his room.
Her mother's illness provided her with an excuse to stay at home.
I don't want to hear any more excuses.
It's late. I'm afraid I'll have to make my excuses.
Justin mumbled some excuse and left.
She had to find a valid excuse for leaving the room.
She made some feeble excuse about the car having broken down.
She seized on every excuse to avoid doing the work.
She's a pitiful excuse for an actress.
The children provided a convenient excuse for missing the party.
The political crisis is being used as an excuse to dock people's pay.
What possible excuse could he have?
You don't have to make excuses for her.
a built-in excuse for failure
a sorry excuse for a man
an acceptable excuse for missing school
• Late again! What's your excuse this time?

Idiom: excuse me 

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

excuse / ɪkˈskjuːz / verb [ T ]

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) football 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.

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?

used to politely ask someone to move so that you can walk past them:

Excuse me, can I just get past?

used to tell someone politely that you are leaving:

Excuse me a moment, I'll be with you shortly.

A2 used to say sorry for something you have done by accident:

Did I take your seat? Do excuse me.

said before disagreeing with someone:

Excuse me but aren't you forgetting something?

US ( UK pardon? , I beg your pardon? ) used to politely ask someone to repeat something they have said because you have not heard it

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


 excuses, excusing, excused

 (The noun is pronounced [ɪkskju͟ːs]. The verb is pronounced [ɪkskju͟ːz].)
 1) N-COUNT: oft N for n/-ing, N to-inf An excuse is a reason which you give in order to explain why something has been done or has not been done, or in order to avoid doing something.
  It is easy to find excuses for his indecisiveness...
  Once I had had a baby I had the perfect excuse to stay at home...
  If you stop making excuses and do it you'll wonder what took you so long.
  PHRASE: v-link PHR, oft PHR for n/-ing If you say that there is no excuse for something, you are emphasizing that it should not happen, or expressing disapproval that it has happened. (disapproval)
  There's no excuse for behaviour like that...
  Solitude was no excuse for sloppiness.
 2) VERB To excuse someone or excuse their behaviour means to provide reasons for their actions, especially when other people disapprove of these actions.
  [V n by -ing] He excused himself by saying he was `forced to rob to maintain my wife and cat'...
  [V n] That doesn't excuse my mother's behaviour.
 3) VERB If you excuse someone for something wrong that they have done, you forgive them for it.
  [V n for n/-ing] Many people might have excused them for shirking some of their responsibilities. [Also V n, V n n]
 4) VERB: usu passive If someone is excused from a duty or responsibility, they are told that they do not have to carry it out.
  [be V-ed from n/-ing] She is usually excused from her duties during the school holidays...
  [be V-ed n] She was excused duties on Saturday.
 5) VERB If you excuse yourself, you use a phrase such as `Excuse me' as a polite way of saying that you are about to leave.
  [V pron-refl] He excused himself and went up to his room.
 6) CONVENTION (formulae) You say `Excuse me' when you want to politely get someone's attention, especially when you are about to ask them a question.
  Excuse me, but are you Mr Honig?
  pardon me
 7) CONVENTION (formulae) You use excuse me to apologize to someone when you have disturbed or interrupted them.
  Excuse me interrupting, but there's a thing I feel I've got to say.
 8) CONVENTION (politeness) You use excuse me or a phrase such as if you'll excuse me as a polite way of indicating that you are about to leave or that you are about to stop talking to someone.
  `Excuse me,' she said to Jarvis, and left the room...
  Now if you'll excuse me, I've got work to do.
 9) CONVENTION You use excuse me, but to indicate that you are about to disagree with someone. [mainly BRIT]
  Excuse me, but I want to know what all this has to do with us.
 10) PHRASE (formulae) You say excuse me to apologize when you have bumped into someone, or when you need to move past someone in a crowd.
  Saying excuse me, pardon me, Seaton pushed his way into the crowded living room.
 11) CONVENTION (formulae) You say excuse me to apologize when you have done something slightly embarrassing or impolite, such as burping, hiccupping, or sneezing.
  pardon me
 12) CONVENTION (formulae) You say `Excuse me?' to show that you want someone to repeat what they have just said. [AM](in BRIT, usually use pardon, sorry)

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary



2ex·cuse /ɪkˈskjuːs/ noun, pl -cus·es
1 a [count] : a reason that you give to explain a mistake, bad behavior, etc.
• What's your excuse for being so late?
• She had no valid excuse for not finishing her homework.
• He's always making excuses for himself.
• a lame/flimsy excuse
b excuses [plural] : reasons that you give to explain politely why you cannot do something, why you have to leave, etc.
• I won't be able to come to the wedding. Please give my excuses to your cousin. [=please tell your cousin that I'm sorry I won't be able to come]
• I made my excuses and left.
2 [count] : something (such as a condition or set of conditions) that explains improper behavior and makes it acceptable - usually used in negative statements
• There is no excuse for child abuse.
• His youth is no excuse for his irresponsible behavior.
3 [count] : a reason for doing something
• His birthday gives us a good excuse for a party.
• She'll use any excuse [=pretext] to wallow in self-pity.
4 [count] : a poor example - + for
• He's a poor/sad excuse for a father. [=he's a bad father]
• That pile of junk is a sorry excuse for a car!