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Excuse   /ɪkskjˈus/  /ɪkskjˈuz/   Listen
Excuse

verb
(past & past part. excused; pres. part. excusing)
1.
Accept an excuse for.  Synonym: pardon.
2.
Grant exemption or release to.  Synonyms: exempt, let off, relieve.
3.
Serve as a reason or cause or justification of.  Synonym: explain.  "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again"
4.
Defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning.  Synonyms: apologise, apologize, justify, rationalise, rationalize.  "He rationalized his lack of success"
5.
Ask for permission to be released from an engagement.  Synonym: beg off.
6.
Excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with.  Synonym: condone.  "She condoned her husband's occasional infidelities"



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"Excuse" Quotes from Famous Books



... in a chair just inside the big door of the shed, near a small stove in which was a fire to take off the chill of the big place. The guard had slept all day, and there was no excuse for him nodding in the way ...
— Tom Swift in the Caves of Ice • Victor Appleton

... sparkling with joy. Just then the door opened, and the jailer, addressing himself to Bertuccio, said,—"Excuse me, sir, but the examining magistrate is waiting ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... against whom it was dangerous to dispute; and in the four hundred years of the reign of the caliphs, the political climate of Jerusalem was exposed to the vicissitudes of storm and sunshine. [59] By the increase of proselytes and population, the Mahometans might excuse the usurpation of three fourths of the city: but a peculiar quarter was resolved for the patriarch with his clergy and people; a tribute of two pieces of gold was the price of protection; and the sepulchre of Christ, with the church of the Resurrection, was ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... of the court, and the perplexity arising from thinking in a language different from that in which he was to express himself, kept him silent. There was a murmur of compassion among the spectators, from the idea that the poor fellow intended to plead the influence of his superior as an excuse for his crime. The Judge commanded silence, and encouraged Evan to proceed. 'I was only ganging to say, my lord,' said Evan, in what he meant to be an insinuating manner, 'that if your excellent honour and the honourable Court would let Vich Ian Vohr go free just this once, and let him ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... her ancient prototype, Cartagena succumbed to the very influences which had made her great. Her wealth excited the cupidity of freebooters, and her power aroused the jealousy of her formidable rivals. Her religion itself became an excuse for the plundering hands of Spain's enemies. Again and again the city was called upon to defend the challenge which her riches and massive walls perpetually issued. Again and again she was forced to yield to the heavy tributes and disgraceful penalties of buccaneers and legalized pirates ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... colored people have entrusted their savings to wholly irresponsible persons, lost them through the dishonesty of these persons, and in discouragement abandoned all attempts at saving. Today, however, there is no excuse for any man not saving a certain amount of his earnings no matter how small it may be. It is a poor person, indeed, who cannot invest twenty-five cents at stated intervals in a Thrift Stamp. Many are able also to buy small Liberty Bonds. It ...
— History of the American Negro in the Great World War • W. Allison Sweeney

... sense it may not appear to be out of due place nor uninstructive to the readers of the pages of the "Bath Chronicle," if they were allowed to pursue quietly the "meditation" which I have thought fit, with, some amount of feasible excuse, to set in fair order, concerning the apotheosis of an evening service in musical form, from the versatile pen of Mr. Berthold Tours, in the key of D, which, with no inconsiderable eclat was in the sequence of events, produced at St. Raphael's Church, Bristol, on Sunday, the 12th inst. A ...
— Original Letters and Biographic Epitomes • J. Atwood.Slater

... This one had a family to look after. That one was not feeling well. Another had a pain in his wings. One and all they had an excuse until Hummer, the tiniest of all the birds, was reached. He darted into the air before King Eagle. 'I'll ...
— Mother West Wind "How" Stories • Thornton W. Burgess

... outnumbered, and it will only be giving our foes an excuse for slaying us should we attempt to ...
— Count Ulrich of Lindburg - A Tale of the Reformation in Germany • W.H.G. Kingston

... invincible Prince," he said, "that we may excuse, by an anxious legation, the long defence which we have made of our homes. Who could have feared any danger to the most powerful city in the Netherlands from so moderate a besieging force? You would yourself have ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... upon the premises stated would excuse the occupants of the Cameron House if they were so disposed in firing upon the mobs aforesaid, and thus create a state of greater violence and unlawless, to further injure the prestige and good name of the United States for maintaining law and ...
— Jailed for Freedom • Doris Stevens

... you will excuse him ; he is very sorry not to see you; but he desired me to come and speak to you myself, and tell you he hopes you will excuse him, for he feels himself too ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... "I'm all for lies in an ordinary way; but don't you see that to-night they won't do? We've wandered into a world of facts, old girl. That grass growing, and that sun going down, and that cab at the door, are facts. You used to torment and excuse yourself by saying I was after your money, and didn't really love you. But if I stood here now and told you I didn't love you—you wouldn't believe me: for truth ...
— Manalive • G. K. Chesterton

... I was aroused from a sound 20 sleep by the vigilant officer. "Excuse me for disturbing you, Captain," said he, as he detected an expression of vexation in my face, "but I wish you would turn out and come on deck as soon ...
— Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year • E.C. Hartwell

... I Hope Youll Excuse my Taking the Liberty in Writing to you. But as a poor Creminall Confined, hopes that you and the Gentleman in the Cabin will Pardon the abrupt Treattment, I have Used Latly, but all Owing To a Moros Way in answering when Called: Which I Acnowledge ...
— Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period - Illustrative Documents • Various

... Secretary of State, still without looking up, "that I would amend it by casting it into the flames. Lady Lake, it is my duty to warn you. This is a fearful crime you would commit, and severely punishable by the law. You may excuse it to yourself, because you have an end in view which seems to justify the means; but the excuse will not avail you with others. You have said that in a conflict with one so cunning and unscrupulous as our noble son-in-law, you are compelled ...
— The Star-Chamber, Volume 1 - An Historical Romance • W. Harrison Ainsworth

... army; it might again be induced to show a similar readiness in providing money, without which the army could not disperse, if parliament would but impose a fine upon them as a body, "which money being chargeable so properly upon themselves, we presume they will not have the like excuse not to provide."(821) ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume II • Reginald R. Sharpe

... this monument of his official life are sufficiently set forth in the two prefaces, one prefixed to the First Book and the other to the Eleventh. Much emphasis is laid on the entreaties of his friends, the regular excuse, in the sixth century as in the nineteenth, for an author or a politician doing the very thing which most pleases his own vanity. A worthier reason probably existed in the author's natural desire to vindicate his own consistency, by showing that the influence which for more than ...
— The Letters of Cassiodorus - Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of - Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator • Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)

... rage and of terror, we had gone farther than we had at first designed, our gloom and our silence on the morrow attested. True we were quit of our incubus, but on such terms as not even the severity of the times could excuse. For the man had but chastised us to our improvement; and to destroy the scourge is not to condone the offence. For myself, as I bore up the little Margery to my shoulder on my way to the reaping, I felt the burden of guilt so great as that I found myself ...
— At a Winter's Fire • Bernard Edward J. Capes

... "Several people. Excuse me if I talk along different lines, but I have had a good deal of experience in tracing out just such things as this, and I have always found it safest to be sure of my facts before deducing theories. It is not all clear ...
— Felix O'Day • F. Hopkinson Smith

... Saturday.[6] It must be owned they decide very conscientiously. One man asked for exemption because he had, by keeping away Conservative votes, decided an election in favour of a Whig candidate, and, though otherwise disposed to let him off, they made him Sheriff directly on reading this excuse. I sat next to Palmerston. It was amusing to see how everything is blown over, and how success and the necessity of making common cause has reconciled all jarring sentiments; and it was amusing to hear Melbourne in one house ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... far too wise to answer foolish abuse with useless excuse; she silently took one of the beautiful cups and put it in her basket. She was so overcome that she did not think of any word of thanks until she had reached the door; then, turning: "May heaven bless you, ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, V. 5, April 1878 - Scribner's Illustrated • Various

... more loyal to Bill than diplomatic. "If Bill's a little rough," he said, with a heightened color, "perhaps he has some excuse for it. You forget it's only six months ago that this coach was 'held up' not a hundred ...
— From Sand Hill to Pine • Bret Harte

... some mornings pretty regularly, and was very civil to Mr. Leader, and made Miss Fanny drink when his lordship took a cup, and asked Lord Talboys and his tutor to dinner. But the tutor came, and, blushing, brought an excuse from Talboys; and poor Milliken had not a very pleasant evening after Mr. Baring Leader ...
— The Christmas Books • William Makepeace Thackeray

... towin' him off on a thin excuse. "That ain't any convention they're holdin' out there. So far as they know, it's just a happy chance. If they're let alone the meetin' may develop tender moments. Anyway, you might give 'em a show, and if they want you bad they can run up a flag. See? ...
— Torchy, Private Sec. • Sewell Ford

... Excuse me, mister man, but ain't you—Hello, yourself! Blamed if I didn't think there was somethin' kind of natural about the looks, as you come pikin' ...
— Shorty McCabe • Sewell Ford

... impracticability of the thing. But certain evil-disposed persons—referred to mysteriously as 'they'—had fastened greedily upon her words, and, waving aside her objection that she had no paraphernalia, deliberately proceeded to provide the same, that she might have no excuse. The booth was run up, the puppets procured. The gentle hint that she wanted to withdraw had been let fall at the exact moment with deadly effect, and—the wicked work was done. She had been motored over and here set down, complete with booth, half an hour ago. They were going to ...
— The Brother of Daphne • Dornford Yates

... Mrs. L. Excuse me, Miss Precise, but your pupils all wear red chignons. Pray, is this a uniform you have ...
— The Universal Reciter - 81 Choice Pieces of Rare Poetical Gems • Various

... PEYTON made no answer, but walked away, and after supper, one of the boarders took Mr. P. aside and urged him to excuse their host, as he was obliged to make the joke in question to every guest. The ...
— Punchinello Vol. 1, No. 21, August 20, 1870 • Various

... members of the Council of National Defense are likely to forget, in the excess of their patriotism and loyalty, that there is one edict higher than that of the greatest government in the world. When Nature gives an order there is no appeal to a higher court, and the excuse that a man has not the time to obey, or is doing something that his country most urgently needs, has no weight in that court. When Nature touches a man on the shoulder and says, "Stop!" he stops. The penalty of frayed nerves, ...
— Keeping Fit All the Way • Walter Camp

... merchant, "if I were cruel enough to buy my own life at the expense of one of my children's, what excuse could I invent to ...
— Beauty and the Beast • Anonymous

... the Pope. He appears to have been a holy man who shared her aspirations, but he was evidently disheartened by the apparent failure of his efforts and by the necessary absorption in external things of a life dedicated to public affairs. Catherine's keen analysis leaves Nicholas of Osimo no excuse for indolence. Her letter, especially in the earlier portion, reads like a paraphrase of Newman's ...
— Letters of Catherine Benincasa • Catherine Benincasa

... "excuse the speech I offer without waiting. But I must ask. This is my hour of night prayer, and I must bow to Mecca. Whither, from ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... Miss Courtenay," said Miss Newton, in a low voice, "excuse me, but you are a little too warm. It is not thought good taste, you know, to take up any subject so very ...
— Out in the Forty-Five - Duncan Keith's Vow • Emily Sarah Holt

... Laura," interposed Lady Mary, "your tongue is running away with you. I have told you we have come down here for a little quiet. I am very glad, for your sake, that you have so much gaiety going on; but I am afraid you will have to excuse ...
— Belles and Ringers • Hawley Smart

... his best wig, hat, and sword, and ordering his man to go to the other place to make his excuse— that was to say, he made an excuse to send his man away—he prepares to go into the coach. As he was going, he stopped a while, and speaks mighty earnestly to me about his business, and finds an opportunity ...
— The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders &c. • Daniel Defoe

... about the room looked to each other with sick smiles. There was an excuse for acquiescence, for the figure of Jim Silent contrasted with Whistling Dan was like an oak compared with a sapling. Nevertheless such bland cowardice as Dan was showing made their flesh creep. He asked at the bar ...
— The Untamed • Max Brand

... from your silence that you have no excuse to make?" asked the doctor in a tone of mixed sorrow and indignation; "and am I to believe that from some petty insult you have allowed your temper such uncontrolled sway as nearly to have cost your cousin ...
— Louis' School Days - A Story for Boys • E. J. May

... out Holmes, not sorry for an excuse to change the subject. "Why, you used a Zulu word, Stanninghame, and yet you say you never ...
— The Sign of the Spider • Bertram Mitford

... make you sleep, as usual, at the Crown, with the same eternal excuse, after having brought you fifty miles from town, of small house—no beds—all engaged—inn close by? Ah, never shall I forget that inn, with its royal name, ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... not tell you what else I think of it because you probably would not understand. For you, M. Danton, there is at least this excuse that you did not know me. But you, Isaac—to bring this gentleman here with ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... her senses, or to have set her affection elsewhere, a suspicion injurious to her fair name and fame. But then again, I said, had she declared I was her husband, they would have seen that in choosing me she had not chosen so ill but that they might excuse her, for before Don Fernando had made his offer, they themselves could not have desired, if their desires had been ruled by reason, a more eligible husband for their daughter than I was; and she, before taking the last fatal step of giving her hand, might easily have said ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... none without assurance that he would stay seven years in order to learn his craft. He must be patient with his pupils, instruct them diligently, encourage them with increased pay, and not permit them to work at night, "unless in the pursuit of knowledge, which shall be a sufficient excuse." He must be wise and discreet, and undertake no work he cannot both perform and complete equally to the profit of his employer and the craft. Should a Fellow be overtaken by error, he must be gentle, skilful, ...
— The Builders - A Story and Study of Masonry • Joseph Fort Newton

... the crowded auditorium, still pleasantly surprised to estimate the day's attendance at something like ninety-seven per cent of enrollment. That was really good; why, it was only three per cent short of perfect! Maybe it was the new rule requiring a sound-recorded excuse for absence. Or it could have been his propaganda campaign about the benefits of education. Or, very easily, it could have been the result of sending Doug Yetsko and some of his boys around to talk to recalcitrant parents. It was good to see that ...
— Null-ABC • Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire

... darkness. He never wavered in His object; yet He never left unused one means that man could use to prevent that object taking place. A lesson full of significance! The will of the Supreme must be done, but the doing of that will is no excuse for any individual man who does not carry out the law to the fullest of his power. Although the will must be carried out, everything should be done that righteousness permits and that compassion suggests in order that men may choose ...
— Avataras • Annie Besant

... over his case that I lost what was left of my sense of honor. For I not only wrote him down, I kept what I had written. "Ten years from now," I said in excuse, "I won't believe him unless he's on paper." But having kept this, I began keeping others, until my locked drawer was filled with the dreams and ambitions and even the loves of my confiding, innocent friends. At last I was ...
— The Harbor • Ernest Poole

... had kissed her lips, and once more we had vowed to live or die together, when I was startled from my reverie by a question which the unsuspecting old man was now repeating for the third time. I stammered an excuse, and roused myself to the hearing of another excellent jest; but what it might have been I know not, for the entrance of a young labourer, an old acquaintance of my own, with whom he had business, cut it short. "Aleck," he said, "get ready ...
— Tales from Blackwood, Volume 7 • Various

... fool. What does it matter? Did my wife marry the fool of me? No, she married me, with my mind and my feelings all here, as I am today. But she is getting a divorce from the fool of me, which she would never see anyhow! The stupidity which excuse me is the thing she will not overlook. Even in her memory of me she ...
— Youth and the Bright Medusa • Willa Cather

... was her own fault. Toward night, when Mrs Standish had leisure to sit down to her sewing, she called Angeline, and reminded her of the ill-natured spirit she had shown in the early part of the afternoon. The child was rather ashamed of what she had said, it is true; but she tried to excuse ...
— Wreaths of Friendship - A Gift for the Young • T. S. Arthur and F. C. Woodworth

... don't mean that; but I wish you hadn't let him see that you expected him to leap for joy when you stooped to excuse yourself." ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... strength. His white hot flashes of uncontrollable temper? Surely they would die down at my cool, tender touch. His fits of abstraction and irritability? Mere evidences of the genius within. Oh, my worshiping soul was always alert with an excuse. ...
— Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed • Edna Ferber

... myself put a stop to them; but six years ago, I took an opportunity to do away with them, by depositing the stone with some of the family plate in a chest which I sent to the bank. Thus, when applied to for it (which I have been since then), I had the excuse of not having it in my possession; and when the Laird returns from India, it is hoped the superstition may be forgotten, and "the stone" preserved only as ...
— Archaeological Essays, Vol. 1 • James Y. Simpson

... of thought, besides. He cannot send the conventional messages but he loses his way among the few pronouns: "I send them their love," "They sent me my love," "I kissed their hand to me." If he is stopped and told to get the words right, he has to make a long effort. His precedent might be cited to excuse every politician who cannot remember whether he began his sentence with "people" in the singular or the plural, and who finishes it otherwise than as he began it. Points of grammar that are purely points of logic baffle a child completely. ...
— The Children • Alice Meynell

... farther be objected, that this work is so stuffed with quotations, that they hinder the book itself from being seen; like what I heard say of a country fellow, who complained when he left London, that he could not see it for the houses. As an excuse for all the others, I shall make use of one quotation more, and this I shall borrow from Mr. Bayle.[1] "There is no room to doubt," says he, "but some readers will judge, that there are a little too many ...
— Ebrietatis Encomium - or, the Praise of Drunkenness • Boniface Oinophilus

... the excuse to be gone, both men rose. As they went out they saw how Sanchia was already leaning toward Longstreet, how her hand had again found its way to his arm. Then they lost sight of her and saw Helen standing upon the cliff edge looking off to the lowlands of the south. In ...
— The Desert Valley • Jackson Gregory

... said Thaddeus. "One of the oldest friends I've got, in fact, which is my sole excuse for keeping you waiting. Old ...
— Paste Jewels • John Kendrick Bangs

... Humphrey Davy be excepted) whose report could be relied upon for the weight of a trout. I have many excellent friends—capital fishermen—whose word is good upon most concerns of life, but in this one thing they cannot be confided in. I excuse it; I take off twenty per cent. from their estimates without either hesitation, anger, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 73, November, 1863 • Various

... partly because they had not enough candles, but chiefly because they went late to bed;[9] and whoever is without sin among us, let him cast the first stone! There was a tendency also among both monks and nuns to slip out before the end of the service on any good or bad excuse: they had to see after the dinner or the guest-house, their gardens needed weeding, or they did not feel well. But the most common fault of all was to gabble through the services as quickly as they could in order to get them over. ...
— Medieval People • Eileen Edna Power

... interposed the locksmith, who felt that the tone in which this was said conveyed the speaker's impression that he had ample excuse for yielding to the furious multitude who beset and hemmed him in on every side, and among whom he stood, an old man, quite alone,—"upon ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11 • Various

... pulverized silex. All who reside in the country, ladies particularly, know how to estimate the worth of a broad, smooth, and dry walk, by the miseries so generally suffered from those of a contrary description. For the sake, therefore, of the example and the precept, they will candidly excuse the eulogy extorted from a wandering pedestrian on meeting with so agreeable an accommodation in a district, which, in many respects, seems appropriated to the caprice of wealth. To supply the deficiency of our Road Bills, one sweeping law ought to enact that ...
— A Morning's Walk from London to Kew • Richard Phillips

... the plaudits that were nightly showered upon her, her constant occupation was to find out either where Dick was or what he had been doing or saying. If he went up to make a change without telling her she would invent some excuse for sending to inquire after him; if he were giving some directions to the girls at one of the top entrances, she would walk from the wing where she was waiting for her cue to ask him what he was saying. This watchfulness caused a great deal of merriment in ...
— A Mummer's Wife • George Moore

... during the meal at Mr. Truelocke's courtesy, so kindly did he speak to the Quaker; and he strove to excuse to him the mad behaviour of the people, ascribing it to their regard for their ancient pastor, now about to leave them. 'I pray you,' he said, 'to ...
— Andrew Golding - A Tale of the Great Plague • Anne E. Keeling

... figured it out, that for those five years, Edward wanted long passages of deep affection kept up in long, long talks and that every now and then they "fell," which would give Edward an opportunity for remorse and an excuse to lend the Major another fifty. I don't think that Mrs Basil considered it to be "falling"; she just pitied ...
— The Good Soldier • Ford Madox Ford

... "Dorothy! Do excuse me, Mr. Nisbet, but really—dinner at seven, you know, and this child must be thinking about dressing. ...
— The Lieutenant-Governor • Guy Wetmore Carryl

... us so well that He will not suffer us to take less than His highest will. Some day we shall bless our faithful teacher, who kept the standard inflexibly rigid, and then gave us the strength and grace to reach it, and would not excuse us until we had ...
— Days of Heaven Upon Earth • Rev. A. B. Simpson

... calling the city Nasirabad, as the Trigonometrical Survey maps do, there is no excuse whatever for this, which is a mere blunder—not the only one, unfortunately—and attributes to the city the name of a small village ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... can understand, even though I do not excuse, this little piece of vanity. It is so distinguished, so aristocratic to possess a beautiful hand! I even think, at times, that there is something symbolic in it. The hand is the instrument by which we execute our works, the sign of our nobility, the means by which the intellect gives form and ...
— Pepita Ximenez • Juan Valera

... we really oughtn't to discuss a woman, even as we are doing now. The only excuse is that we're both so fond of ...
— What Timmy Did • Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes

... so the most virtuous of women could enter even her bedroom. Death had purified the air of this abode of splendid foulness, and if more excuse were needed, they had the excuse that they had merely come to a sale, they knew not whose. They had read the placards, they wished to see what the placards had announced, and to make their choice beforehand. What could ...
— Camille (La Dame aux Camilias) • Alexandre Dumas, fils

... Kid now," Skinny said as they approached. "Hello, Kid," he continued, "I see you got the filly—Excuse me, I guess you folks ...
— The Ramblin' Kid • Earl Wayland Bowman

... in reference to his own concerns. But there was a feeling within him that he still,—even still,—owed something to his friendship to Fitzgibbon. "Just give me your arm, and come on with me for a minute," said Phineas. "Erle will excuse us." ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... enterprise and gilded state who, in the hope of some additional lucre, have thousands and ten thousands at their beck; but who, when asked for decent contributions to what they themselves acknowledge to be all-important, turn away with this hollow excuse, 'I cannot afford it.' Above all, how should her example redden the faces of many who profess to belong to Christ; to have received gratuitously from him what he procured for them at the expense of his own blood, 'an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth ...
— The Power of Faith - Exemplified In The Life And Writings Of The Late Mrs. Isabella Graham. • Isabella Graham

... bell," said Hans; "and for the rest of your inquiries I'll answer them all as soon as Swartboy has skinned this 'aard-vark,' and Totty has cooked a piece of it for supper; but I'm too hungry to talk now, so pray excuse me." ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... scale that, when looked at without relation to the merits with which they are interwoven, they become so appalling that people shrink from ascribing them to the Deity and have invented the Devil, without seeing that there would be more excuse for God's killing the Devil, and so getting rid of evil, than there can be for his failing to be everything that he would ...
— The Note-Books of Samuel Butler • Samuel Butler

... Green was a sensible, kind-hearted fellow, this did not much signify;—but not on that account did he omit to tell himself of his own fault. Then he discovered that it would ill become him to break his word to Mr Amedroz and to his daughter, and to do so without a word of excuse, because Clara had exercised a right which was indisputably her own. He had undertaken certain work at Belton which required his presence, and he would go down and do his work as though nothing had occurred to disturb ...
— The Belton Estate • Anthony Trollope

... an Indian Prince come home, who employed the most pleasant-spoken gentleman; and he might know who it was he had to thank that even in the cave the captain did not like to shoot that long-lost heir; and from this time out there was no excuse for Stephen if he ever laughed at anything that his wife said. Only on no account must Mary ever hear of it; for a bird in the hand was worth fifty in the bush; and the other gone abroad, and under accusation, and very likely born of a red Indian mother. Whereas Harry Tanfield's father, George, ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... see your mother. Saw your brother one night late at the door of the parson's house. Saw you at the fire. At the fire?—certainly. Stood a matter of a dozen yards away when that young buck of a stableman drove up with the trap. What excuse for going? Blest if I remember—summat or other; knocked, and no one came. I don't know how long and all I stood cooling my heels at the door. Then I saw a light coming from a room on the first floor, and up I went and knocked. 'Come in,' says somebody. I went in. Withered old party got up. Black ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... This saying of the Philosopher is to be understood as referring to ignorance of fact, which he calls "ignorance of particular circumstances" [*Ethic. iii, 1], and which deserves pardon, and not to ignorance of the law which does not excuse: and he who does an injustice through ignorance, does no injustice except accidentally, as ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... all wander into another man's grounds looking for walnut trees," I said, "with no better excuse than that Celia's great-grandmother was once asked down here for the week-end and stayed ...
— Once a Week • Alan Alexander Milne

... himself on the plea that he needed exercise to aid digestion, and as he had brought nothing to the feast, his excuse was politely accepted. ...
— Mother West Wind's Children • Thornton W. Burgess

... style revolver, you see, vintage of 1880 or thereabouts, I should say. Not a self-cocker. And, you'll notice it isn't cocked. So, even if you had stuck to your lethal threat and had pulled the trigger ever so hard, I'd still be more or less alive. You'll excuse me for mentioning it," he ended in apology, noting her crestfallen air. "Any novice in the art of slaying might have done the same thing. Shooting people is an accomplishment that ...
— Black Caesar's Clan • Albert Payson Terhune

... to excuse me for a while, unless you're dead set on having it out right now. Mr. Gale and his family are leaving, and my daughter is going with them. I'd rather you'd wait ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... must remember that the mental disorder, if it belongs to the group we are discussing here, is the result of a criminal act, and following in its wake, and that therefore the plea of insanity as an excuse for the deed must manifestly be excluded. But may not this type of reaction furnish us an index to the original personality of the culprit? In other words, should we consider an individual absolutely normal, if, in reaction to some stressful situation, ...
— Studies in Forensic Psychiatry • Bernard Glueck

... some time opposed her daughter's opinion, as thinking it very singular; but when she saw she was obstinate in it, she gave way, and told her, that in that case she ought to pretend an indisposition as an excuse for not going to the ball, because the real reasons which hindered her would not be approved of; and care ought to be taken that they should not ...
— The Princess of Cleves • Madame de La Fayette

... but it can't be helped," groaned Gowan. "It would wreck everything to have an audience of mistresses. I feel we've escaped a great danger. We must warn the others not to be too encouraging, or give the mistresses any loophole of an excuse to butt in. This particular show is to ...
— The Princess of the School • Angela Brazil

... They'd a franchise to light the town, developing their power from the mine screenings, and what they got from this would be so much velvet. And he had a chance to take over one of the finest houses in Mount Royal, if he had a family along with him to excuse such magnificence. ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... with the Italian for treating his good bear in this manner, Pedro would make the excuse for cruelty so often heard in Italy, where very little consideration is ...
— Black Bruin - The Biography of a Bear • Clarence Hawkes

... crew," began the King, eyeing them pleasantly, and sitting forward with a hand on either knee, "and I am astonished, my Lord of Canterbury, at your companying with them. But we will have mercy, and remember your son's services, Master Torridon, in the past. That alone will excuse him. Remember that. That alone. He is the stronger man, if he turned out the priest there. And I remember your son very well, too; and will forgive him. But I shall not employ him again. And his forgiveness shall cover yours, Master Priest; but you must ...
— The King's Achievement • Robert Hugh Benson

... "You will excuse me for not waiting for you," said he; "I have, I foresee, a very busy day before me in looking into this case ...
— The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

... (unless he might pay them in the produce of his farm), so long as it must be before he could be repaid from India. So Holt did not dare to ask for pocket-money; and for the hundredth time he sighed over his debt. He had almost left off hoping that Hugh, would excuse him altogether, though everybody knew that Hugh had five shillings in Mrs Watson's hands. This fact and Hugh's frequent applications to Lamb for payment, had caused an impression that Hugh was fond of money. It was not so; and yet the charge was not ...
— The Crofton Boys • Harriet Martineau

... Brymer, "that I get a couple of tins out of the store and open them. Then Dale here shall take them to the cook; the excuse for their being opened is to be that so ...
— Sail Ho! - A Boy at Sea • George Manville Fenn

... Government, and he sent back the ribbon of a knightly order with the answer that he had made a vow never to wear any decoration. When Victor Emanuel in turn wished to do him a like honor, he held himself bound by his excuse to the Austrians, but accepted the honorary presidency of the Lombard Institute of Sciences, Letters and Arts. In 1860 he was elected a Senator of the realm; he appeared in order to take the oath and then he retired to a ...
— Modern Italian Poets • W. D. Howells

... profession of arms. He was a man of the world. He had never discountenanced duelling; he himself had been engaged in the affair between Laurens and Lee; and a few years before, his own son had fallen in a duel. Neither his education nor his professions nor his practice could excuse him. It was too late to take shelter behind his general disapproval of a custom which was recognized by his professional brethren and had been countenanced by himself. It is true that he would have shown a higher courage by braving an ignorant and brutal public opinion, but it would ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... (without the scriptures, or divine revelations) to make known to man much of God, his invisible Godhead and attributes, Psalm xix. 1, 2, &c.; Acts xiv. 17, and xvii. 27, 28; yea, so far as to leave them without excuse, Rom. i. 18-21. 2. That there remained so much natural light in the minds even of the heathens, as to render them capable of instruction by the creature in the invisible things of God; yea, and that they ...
— The Divine Right of Church Government • Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London

... go with us to-day, Glen. You stay here, and Sconda can remain with you. That will delight the old fellow, for he has been trying to invent some excuse for not going. In fact, he doesn't want me to go, either, and suggested that we all should return at once ...
— Glen of the High North • H. A. Cody

... custom and veneration. We fix our eyes upon his graces, and turn them from his deformities, and endure in him what we should in another loathe or despise. If we endured without praising, respect for the father of our drama might excuse us; but I have seen, in the book of some modern critick, a collection of anomalies, which show that he has corrupted language by every mode of depravation, but which his admirer has accumulated ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... glad that you have a reasonable excuse for not having been to see me," she said good-humouredly. "Please make yourselves comfortable while I ...
— Anna the Adventuress • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... red as scarlet. "Mon Dieu," said he, pressing his hands together, "You never used me unkindly." "I should think," said the lady, "he is not likely." I blush'd in my turn. "Excuse me, Madam," replied I, "I treated him most unkindly; and from no provocations." "'Tis impossible," said the lady. "My God!" cried the monk, with a warmth of asseveration which seem'd not to belong to him, "The fault was in me, and in the indiscretion of my zeal." The lady opposed it, and I joined ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... the law, sir, even if they do break it," Tom gently urged. "That other boat's people have been acting like pirates all along, but that would be no excuse for us. What if we cut into a lumber-laden schooner, and sank ...
— The Motor Boat Club and The Wireless - The Dot, Dash and Dare Cruise • H. Irving Hancock

... they found the detective who had been left there alone at his own request. There was a brief interview between the three, after which Mr. Whitney begged his companion to excuse him for a moment, and beckoning Mr. Merrick ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... did not consider sufficiently: The old guild masters, with their circumspection and devotion, erected buildings to last an eternity, while now-a-days, all is hurry and scurry, the sooner the job is finished the better, as fresh orders are waiting. This may, possibly, be some excuse for the little care bestowed upon the selection of the material. The soft sandstone selected, was excellently suited to the quick sculpturing of the over-rich ornaments, nevertheless, it was a ghastly mistake to have chosen it. Ten years after the ...
— Bremen Cotton Exchange - 1872/1922 • Andreas Wilhelm Cramer

... Seward made his speech of January 12. He discussed the fallacies of secession, showing that it had no grounds, or even excuse, and declaring that disunion must lead to civil war. Then he avowed his adherence to the Union in its integrity and in every event, "whether of peace or of war, with every consequence of honour or dishonour, of life or death." Referring to the disorder, he said: "I know not to what extent it ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... mother, affectionate though mongrel, and an exciting scene was beginning when Dorcas returned and said,—'There's niver any difference in her hardly. I think you needn't wait, sir. She lies very still, as she al'ys does. I've put two candle i' the room, so as she may see you well. You'll please t' excuse the room, sir, an' the cap as she has on; ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... centres and stores of knowledge at which I have been compelled to labour will excuse to the candid critic the errors which will no doubt be discovered; yet I feel some confidence that these will prove to be omissions rather than positive mistakes. No pains have been spared in investigating the full body ...
— The First Discovery of Australia and New Guinea • George Collingridge

... "I will not excuse every thing that took place to-day," said the deputy, with a shrug. "But confess at least, madame, that the ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... northward, close inshore, on the port tack, with the wind free at north-east by east. It was not in order, as is evident from the fact that the ships nearest the enemy, and therefore first to close, ought to have been in the rear on the then tack. For this condition there is no evident excuse; for a fleet having a convoy necessarily proceeds so slowly that the war-ships can keep reasonable order for mutual support. Moreover, irregularities that are permissible in case of emergency, or when no enemy can be encountered ...
— The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence • A. T. Mahan

... eccentricity for its own sake, which is so little likeable a quality in either young or old. There is, however, little risk of an excess in this direction. The young tremble even more than the old at the penalties of nonconformity. There is more excuse for them in this. Such penalties in their case usually come closer and in more stringent forms. Neither have they had time to find out, as their elders have or ought to have found out, what a very moderate degree of fortitude enables us to bear up against social disapproval, ...
— On Compromise • John Morley

... 2: Unbelief includes both ignorance, as an accessory thereto, and resistance to matters of faith, and in the latter respect it is a most grave sin. In respect, however, of this ignorance, it has a certain reason for excuse, especially when a man sins not from malice, as was the case ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... think you can quite put it that way, Djama, if you'll excuse me saying so. If I am not mistaken, it has been clearly understood that the first treasure-house to be unlocked is the one that holds Vilcaroya's greatest treasure—his wife—and what you say seems ...
— The Romance of Golden Star ... • George Chetwynd Griffith

... bore with her dreary rattling of the box in demonstration of its retentive capacities. The mere force of the show stopped him from retorting; but when, to excuse Master Gammon for his tardiness, she related that he also had a money-box, and was in search of it, the farmer threw up his head with the vigour of a young man, and thundered for Master Gammon, by name, vehemently wrathful at the combined hypocrisy of the pair. He called twice, and his face ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... somewhat marred by a sense of absurdity, which is feared by young men more than wounds and death. He could see the lighted windows of the Haunted Bookshop quite plainly, but he could not think of any adequate excuse for going over there. And already he realized that to be near Miss Chapman was not at all the consolation he had expected it would be. He had a powerful desire to see her. He turned off the gas, lit his pipe, opened the window, and focussed the opera ...
— The Haunted Bookshop • Christopher Morley

... violation of Belgian neutrality! How with the aid of this bugaboo the entire neutral world has been stirred up against us, after England made it the hypocritical excuse for her declaration of war! We knew very well that England and France were determined to violate this neutrality; but, then, we ought to have been very good; we ought to have waited until they did so. Waited until their armies would break into ...
— New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1 - From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index • Various

... savings of thrifty citizens.[1875] Their action was the less excusable because the town which had not been relieved and could not well expect to be, must have surrendered sooner or later. They pleaded that the King had sent them no victuals and no money;[1876] but that was not considered an excuse and their action was deemed dishonourable. According to a knight well acquainted with points of honour in war: "One ought never to besiege a place without being sure of victuals and of pay beforehand. For to besiege a stronghold and then to withdraw ...
— The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) • Anatole France

... adequately recognized. In the country many children work early and late at farm-work, as milking, &c., and in the city children earn money as newsboys, message-boys, &c. Where the family exchequer needs to be augmented in this way excuse must be made, but in many comfortable homes children do not rest sufficiently. Mr. Cyril Burt, psychologist for the London City Council, was recently reported as deploring the tendency in modern education to attach ...
— Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders • W. H. Triggs, Donald McGavin, Frederick Truby King, J. Sands Elliot, Ada G. Patterson, C.E. Matthews

... "Excuse me," said Mr. Prigg, "I have to put these questions: it is necessary that I should understand where we are: of course, if you did not sell the pig, he had no right whatever to come and take it out of ...
— The Humourous Story of Farmer Bumpkin's Lawsuit • Richard Harris

... unmannerliness.' Then the mistress broke in, 'And what can be more unmannerly than to intrude thyself upon a house other than thy house and gaze on a Harim other than thy Harim?' I pleaded, 'O my lady, I have an excuse;' and when she asked, 'And what is thine excuse?' I answered, 'I am a stranger and so thirsty that I am well nigh dead of thirst.' She rejoined, 'We accept thine excuse,' —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 • Richard F. Burton

... that day in the train?" he said quickly. "I behaved like a bore. I'm afraid I've no real excuse to offer, except that I'd been reminded of something that happened long ago—and ...
— The Hermit of Far End • Margaret Pedler

... He said that if the charge had been made along our whole line with the same vigor of attack made by his brigade, and if we had been supported as Morgan promised to do, we might have succeeded. I dissented from the opinion that we could even then have succeeded. I asked him what excuse Morgan gave for failing to support us, and he said that Colonel or General De Courcey was in some manner to blame for that, but he said Morgan was mistaken as to the nature of the ground and generally as to the feasibility of the whole thing, and was responsible for the failure to afford us the ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... for three months—well, that first ride, after bein' out o' commission for two years, makes these two sensations something like the affection a man has for sour-dough bread. Oh, it was glorious! we all felt like a flock o' birds—hosses an' all. In the first place it was spring, an' that was excuse enough if the' hadn't been any other; but two of us had gone into that day not on speakin' terms, an' now they were closer than ever, an' the third one had brought 'em together. The old sayin' is that three's a crowd, but it took a crowd to hold all ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... the point of the joke began to reach her, Eleanor was dismayed to see that Bessie, the grave, was also having a hard time to keep from laughing outright. So she blushed, which was the last thing in the world she wanted to do, and then made some excuse for ...
— A Campfire Girl's Happiness • Jane L. Stewart

... Confinement of Souls (made corrupt and degenerate by him) to it, as a Place; tho' he himself, as is still apparent by his Actings, is not yet confin'd to it; of this Hell, its Locality, Extent, Dimensions, Continuance and Nature, as it does not belong to Satan's History, I have a good excuse for saying nothing, and so put off my meddling with that, which if I would meddle with, I could say nothing of to ...
— The History of the Devil - As Well Ancient as Modern: In Two Parts • Daniel Defoe

... "Excuse me, Nephew Vellacott!" said Aunt Judith, with dangerous severity. "Is that first slice intended for Aunt Hester? It appears to me that the butter is very thick—much thicker than on the second, which is ...
— The Slave Of The Lamp • Henry Seton Merriman

... all there is of Lord Rutland's family," I said, alarmed yet amused at Dorothy's search for an excuse not to hate my ...
— Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall • Charles Major

... cannot measure the extent of my request, I should fear to be crushed by the very weight of its audacity. My only excuse is my claim to childhood, and that children do not grasp the full meaning of their words. Yet if a father or mother were on the throne and possessed vast treasures, they would not hesitate to grant the desires of those little ones, ...
— The Story of a Soul (L'Histoire d'une Ame): The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux • Therese Martin (of Lisieux)

... could have brought this most unwarrantable charge when the fact of Dr Westcott's inverted commas was distinctly before him, I am not the less bound to plead guilty of an oversight, which I think I can explain to myself but which I shall not attempt to excuse, and to accept the retort of looseness, which ...
— Essays on "Supernatural Religion" • Joseph B. Lightfoot

... you'd call it bad news," said Blake, slowly. "We've gotten sort of used to being sent to the ends of the earth on short notice, but what gets me—excuse me for putting it that way—what surprises me is that this is the first Mr. Hadley has mentioned ...
— The Moving Picture Boys at Panama - Stirring Adventures Along the Great Canal • Victor Appleton

... the beatific smile of a cat at a promising mouse-hole. "Ah, excuse me, Mr. Rand." He crossed to the desk, picked up the phone and spoke into it. "This is Arnold Rivers," he said, much as Edward Murrow used to say, This—is London! The telephone sputtered for a moment. ...
— Murder in the Gunroom • Henry Beam Piper

... state she was found by Kalahakantaka, who cut the cords which fastened her, and, falling at her feet, confessed all that he had done, alleging his great love for her as an excuse for his cruel conduct: 'And now,' said he, 'consent to be my wife, and I will carry you away to my own home in a distant country, where you will not be known. I will do everything in my power to make your life happy, ...
— Hindoo Tales - Or, The Adventures of Ten Princes • Translated by P. W. Jacob

... means 'in no way,' and nani mo ca mo means 'nothing.' Nanigoto mo cagoto mo, mina ituvari naru zo [... ituvari ...] 'when all is said and done they are all lies.' Nani no ca no, and nanto xite, cato xite are ways to excuse oneself. Nani no ca no to ite means 'saying this and that.' Domo como means 'in whatever way it is,' as does d[vo] xite mo c[vo] xite mo. D[vo] xite c[vo] xite means 'doing this and that differently.' D[vo] x c[vo] x means 'I shall ...
— Diego Collado's Grammar of the Japanese Language • Diego Collado

... Miss Damer will excuse him from his engagement to skate with her this afternoon. The ice is dangerous, and Miss Damer should on no account venture ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 52, February, 1862 • Various

... person who to that time has professed no sort of interest in such matters, shall in no degree be entered as to his good, but rather regarded as examples of deliberate presumptuousness, and made the excuse for subjecting him to more severe tortures and acts of penance than would be his portion if he neglected the ...
— The Wallet of Kai Lung • Ernest Bramah

... man still gazed steadfastly. "If it is to be a favorable decision," said he, "I hope you will be able to excuse any exuberance of demeanor ...
— The Captain's Toll-Gate • Frank R. Stockton

... saw what you did,—and it is just because of such as you that this spot is forbidden ground. Idle curiosity, utter disregard for the sacredness of that lonely grave,—Oh, you need not attempt to deny it. You are a stranger here, but that is no excuse for your passing through that gate. I AM Miss Crown. This hill belongs to me. It was I who had that fence put up and it was I who directed the sign to be put on the gate. They are meant for strangers as well as for friends. It was not thoughtlessness ...
— Quill's Window • George Barr McCutcheon

... deign to mention them by name. The 'Nights' have become popular from the very fact that they affect little; that they are contes pure and simple, picturing the men and the manners of a certain time without any attempt to gloss over their faults or to excuse their foibles: so that "the doings of the ancients become a lesson to those that follow after, that men look upon the admonitory events that have happened to others and take warning." All classes of men are to be found there: Harun al-Rashid and his ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... Mr. Young. "You see how it is. You see what a life I lead. A man can't be wise all the time. In a heedless moment I gave my darling No. 6—excuse my calling her thus, as her other name has escaped me for the moment—a breast-pin. It was only worth twenty-five dollars—that is, apparently that was its whole cost—but its ultimate cost was inevitably bound to be a good deal more. You yourself have seen it climb up to six hundred and fifty ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... if found, is discovered in a remote angle or loft, in a state of insensibility from bewilderment and starvation. If it were not for an occasional negro, who, instigated by charitable motives or love of money, slouches about from room to room with an empty coal-scuttle as an excuse for his intrusions, a gentleman stopping at a Washington hotel would be doomed to certain death. In fact, the lives of all the guests hang upon a thread, or rather, a wire; for, if the bell should fail to answer, there would be no earthly chance of getting into daylight again. ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 39, January, 1861 • Various

... it returned the house was vacant. Its friends had removed to a village three miles distant. Several months later it saw the head of the family on the street there, followed him home, entered the house without excuse or apology, and became a daily guest again. Gulls do not rank high mentally, but this one had memory and the reasoning faculty, you see, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... him with this grant of money, France would have taken it for such a proof of spirit on our part, that she would have paid the indemnity without further delay. This is the old story, and the old plea. It is the excuse of every one who desires more power than the Constitution or the laws give him, that if he had more power he could do more good. Power is always claimed for the good of the people; and dictators are always made, when made at all, for the good of the people. For my part, ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... "Now, my dear, Amy and I will get there early, so as to make up for your coming a little late, but you must be there for the last half, at least. I would excuse you altogether if I could, for I know you must be dead tired, up all night, that way, on the train, but Mrs. Miller is one of those people who never can listen to reason, and she would take deadly offence if ...
— Evening Dress - Farce • W. D. Howells

... her face like a rhapsodist, 'there CAN be no reason, no EXCUSE for education, except the joy and beauty of knowledge in itself.' She seemed to rumble and ruminate with subterranean thoughts for a minute, then she proceeded: 'Vocational education ISN'T education, it ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence



Words linked to "Excuse" :   defense, gloss, request, vindication, palliate, free, color, example, bespeak, representative, extenuation, frank, absolve, plead, quest, excusatory, support, illustration, instance, vindicate, line, defence, colour, mitigate, extenuate, defend, mitigation, call for, forgive, note, fend for, short letter, billet



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