- kind indulgence, as in forgiveness of an offense or discourtesy or in tolerance of a distraction or inconvenience: I beg your pardon, but which way is Spruce Street?
- a release from the penalty of an offense; a remission of penalty, as by a governor.
- the document by which such remission is declared.
- forgiveness of a serious offense or offender.
- Obsolete. a papal indulgence.
verb (used with object)
- to make courteous allowance for or to excuse: Pardon me, madam.
- to release (a person) from liability for an offense.
- to remit the penalty of (an offense): The governor will not pardon your crime.
- (used, with rising inflection, as an elliptical form of I beg your pardon, as when asking a speaker to repeat something not clearly heard or understood.)
- not excusable; disgraceful
- to excuse or forgive (a person) for (an offence, mistake, etc)to pardon someone; to pardon a fault
- forgiveness; allowance
- release from punishment for an offence
- the warrant granting such release
- a Roman Catholic indulgence
- Also: pardon me, I beg your pardon
- sorry; excuse me
- what did you say?
v.mid-15c., “to forgive for offense or sin,” from Old French pardoner (see pardon (n.)). ‘I grant you pardon,’ said Louis XV to Charolais, who, to divert himself, had just killed a man; ‘but I also pardon whoever will kill you.’ [Marquis de Sade, “Philosophy in the Bedroom”] Related: Pardoned; pardoning. Pardon my French as exclamation of apology for obscene language is from 1895. n.late 13c., “papal indulgence,” from Old French pardon, from pardoner “to grant; forgive” (11c., Modern French pardonner), “to grant, forgive,” from Vulgar Latin *perdonare “to give wholeheartedly, to remit,” from Latin per- “through, thoroughly” (see per) + donare “give, present” (see donation). Meaning “passing over an offense without punishment” is from c.1300, also in the strictly ecclesiastical sense; sense of “pardon for a civil or criminal offense; release from penalty or obligation” is from late 14c. earlier in Anglo-French. Weaker sense of “excuse for a minor fault” is attested from 1540s. see beg to differ; excuse me.