from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments or proof: "Our society permits people to sue for libel so that they may vindicate their reputations” ( Irving R. Kaufman).
  • transitive v. To provide justification or support for: vindicate one's claim.
  • transitive v. To justify or prove the worth of, especially in light of later developments.
  • transitive v. To defend, maintain, or insist on the recognition of (one's rights, for example).
  • transitive v. To exact revenge for; avenge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To clear from an accusation, suspicion or criticism.
  • v. To justify by providing evidence.
  • v. To maintain or defend a cause against opposition.
  • v. To provide justification for.
  • v. To lay claim to; to assert a right to; to claim.
  • v. To liberate; to set free; to deliver.
  • v. To avenge; to punish

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To lay claim to; to assert a right to; to claim.
  • transitive v. To maintain or defend with success; to prove to be valid; to assert convincingly; to sustain against assault.
  • transitive v. To support or maintain as true or correct, against denial, censure, or objections; to defend; to justify.
  • transitive v. To maintain, as a law or a cause, by overthrowing enemies.
  • transitive v. To liberate; to set free; to deliver.
  • transitive v. To avenge; to punish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To assert a right to; lay claim to; claim.
  • To defend or support against an enemy; maintain the cause or rights of; deliver from wrong, oppression, or the like; clear from censure, or the like: as, to vindicate an official.
  • To support or maintain as true or correct, against denial, censure, or objections; defend; justify.
  • To avenge; punish; retaliate.
  • Synonyms and Assert, Defend, Maintain, etc. See assert.
  • Vindicated.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting proof
  • v. maintain, uphold, or defend
  • v. show to be right by providing justification or proof


Latin vindicāre, vindicāt-, from vindex, vindic-, surety, avenger; see deik- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin vindicātus, perfect passive participle of vindicō ("lay legal claim to something; set free; protect, avenge, punish"), from vim, accusative singular of vīs ("force, power"), + dīcō ("say; declare, state"). (Wiktionary)


  • While he said he doesn't like to "use the word vindicate," Feldstein, who turns 72 next week, said he recently reviewed his euro-skeptic articles and "thought they were pretty much on target, even though they were written 20 years ago." -- Top News

  • Rome was still the lawful mistress of the world: the pope and the emperor, the bishop and general, had abdicated their station by an inglorious retreat to the Rhone and the Danube; but if she could resume her virtue, the republic might again vindicate her liberty and dominion.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Its only purpose can be to do one of three things: self - "vindicate" bad loser revenge, sell products, such as advertising on Fox News, books, speaking tours etc. and/or troll for the unhinged on a "fishing expedition" for tomorrow's assassins.

    Frank Schaeffer: Dr. Tiller, Murder, Domestic Terrorism and the Republican Right

  • Later the same day, the-then White House counsel pressed the Justice Department's second highest ranking official to issue a statement that would "vindicate" Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona.

    Murray Waas: Former U.S. Attorney condemns Bush White House Interference with Corruption Probe

  • How does float within the MOE "vindicate" the McCain campaign that last's poll was an outlier?

    Poll: Obama Up By Four Points Nationally

  • Wednesday Lee Cheuk-yan, a prodemocracy legislator, introduced a nonbinding motion to remember the crackdown and "vindicate" the student movement.

    Hong Kong Freedom Fight

  • KURTZ: But that goes to the broader point, which is one of the reasons this story has resonated, there is a widespread belief among critics, the BBC was sort of against the war, its reporting has been biased, and that they seized on this weapons of mass destruction story to kind of vindicate their point of view.

    CNN Transcript Jul 27, 2003

  • A default judgment would in no way "vindicate" Jones if the President's stated reason for refusing further to defend the suit was the (by now all-too-obvious) fact that defending would demean his office and unduly distract him from doing the people's work.

    Clinton & the Jones Case

  • As Professor Edmundson further points out, even though a default judgment would not "vindicate" Ms. Jones, if accompanied by a statement that the President chose not to demean his office by defending such a civil suit, there would be a question of public reaction.

    Clinton & the Jones Case

  • In a single instance, he admits the estimate of Bernal Diaz, who puts the loss sustained by the Indians in a battle at eight hundred; while Las Casas, whose corrections of other writers Mr. Wilson professes to "vindicate," says the loss of the Indians on this occasion amounted to thirty thousand.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 19, May, 1859


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  • to clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments or proof

    Even seven Tour de France wins cannot vindicate Lance Armstrong in the eyes of the public--that the athlete used performance enhancing drugs invalidates all those win

    October 11, 2016

  • I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me. God sends forth his love and his faithfulness. Psalm 57:2~3.

    June 13, 2011