To clear someone of blame or suspicion, or to prove that something is true or justified.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Exonerate, acquit, absolve, justify, clear, validate


Incriminate, convict, condemn, blame, refute

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun vindications, vindication, vindicators, vindicator
Verb vindicated, vindicates, vindicate, vindicating
Adjective vindicatory
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The DNA evidence vindicated the suspect and led to his release from prison.

  • The athlete was vindicated when it was discovered that the positive drug test was a false positive.

  • The findings of the investigation vindicated the claims of the whistleblowers and exposed the corruption within the company.

  • The court vindicated the victim’s testimony and found the defendant guilty of the crime.


The word “vindicate” is often used in legal or ethical contexts. When a person is accused of a crime or wrongdoing, they may seek to vindicate themselves by providing evidence to show that they are innocent or that their actions were justified. In the legal system, a defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty, and it is the job of the prosecution to provide evidence that will convince the judge or jury of the defendant’s guilt. If the defendant can provide evidence that casts doubt on their guilt, they may be vindicated and cleared of all charges.

In ethical or moral contexts, the word “vindicate” can be used to describe the process of proving that a person’s actions were morally or ethically justified. For example, a whistleblower who exposes corruption or wrongdoing within an organization may be vindicated if their claims are proven to be true and the organization is held accountable for their actions. Similarly, a person who speaks out against injustice may be vindicated if their concerns are taken seriously and action is taken to address the issue.

The word “vindicate” comes from the Latin word “vindicatus,” which means “to claim, avenge, or punish.” The prefix “vin-” means “to conquer” or “to prevail,” while the suffix “-cate” means “to make” or “to cause.” The root of the word, “dica,” comes from the Latin word “dicere,” which means “to say” or “to declare.” Together, these elements suggest that “vindicate” means to make a declaration or claim that prevails or conquers over opposing claims or accusations.