noun, plural al·i·bis.

  1. Law. the defense by an accused person of having been elsewhere at the time an alleged offense was committed.
  2. an excuse, especially to avoid blame.
  3. a person used as one’s excuse: My sick grandmother was my alibi for missing school.

verb (used without object)

  1. Informal. to give an excuse; offer a defense: to alibi for being late.

verb (used with object)

  1. Informal.
    1. to provide an alibi for (someone): He alibied his friend out of a fix.
    2. to make or find (one’s way) by using alibis: to alibi one’s way out of work.

noun plural -bis

  1. law
    1. a defence by an accused person that he was elsewhere at the time the crime in question was committed
    2. the evidence given to prove this
  2. informal an excuse


  1. (tr) to provide with an alibi

1743, “the plea of having been elsewhere when an action took place,” from Latin alibi “elsewhere, somewhere else,” locative of alius “(an)other” (see alias (adv.)). The weakened sense of “excuse” is attested since 1912, but technically any proof of innocence that doesn’t involve being “elsewhere” is an excuse, not an alibi.

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