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[pahr-dn] /ˈpɑr dn/

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?

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.)
verb (transitive)
to excuse or forgive (a person) for (an offence, mistake, etc): to pardon someone, to pardon a fault
forgiveness; allowance

a Roman Catholic indulgence
sentence substitute
Also pardon me, I beg your pardon


mid-15c., from Old French pardonable (12c.), from pardoner (see pardon (v.)). Related: Pardonably.

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.

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.

the forgiveness of sins granted freely (Isa. 43:25), readily (Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:5), abundantly (Isa. 55:7; Rom. 5:20). Pardon is an act of a sovereign, in pure sovereignty, granting simply a remission of the penalty due to sin, but securing neither honour nor reward to the pardoned. Justification (q.v.), on the other hand, is the act of a judge, and not of a sovereign, and includes pardon and, at the same time, a title to all the rewards and blessings promised in the covenant of life.



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  • Pardoner

    [pahr-dn-er] /ˈpɑr dn ər/ noun 1. a person who . 2. (during the Middle Ages) an ecclesiastical official authorized to sell indulgences. /ˈpɑːdənə/ noun 1. (before the Reformation) a person licensed to sell ecclesiastical indulgences n. “man licensed to sell papal pardons or indulgences,” mid-14c., agent noun from pardon (v.).

  • Pardon me all to hell

    sentence I apologize; I am sorry •Most often said ironically, when one thinks an accusation has been undeserved or too strong Related Terms excuse me all to hell

  • Pardon me for living

    interjection An ironic riposte fromsomeone who feels wrongly accused and badgered (1960s+)

  • Pards

    [pahrd] /pɑrd/ noun, Literary. 1. a leopard or panther. [pahrd] /pɑrd/ noun, Informal. 1. ; companion. /pɑːd/ noun 1. (US) short for pardner /pɑːd/ noun 1. (archaic) a leopard or panther n. archaic form of leopard, c.1300, from Latin pardus “a male panther,” from Greek pardos “male panther,” from the same source (probably Iranian) as […]

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