What does pardon mean?

Definitions for pardon
ˈpɑr dnpar·don

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word pardon.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. forgiveness, pardonnoun

    the act of excusing a mistake or offense

  2. pardon, amnestynoun

    a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense

  3. amnesty, pardon, free pardonverb

    the formal act of liberating someone

  4. excuse, pardonverb

    accept an excuse for

    "Please excuse my dirty hands"

  5. pardonverb

    grant a pardon to

    "Ford pardoned Nixon"; "The Thanksgiving turkey was pardoned by the President"


  1. pardonnoun

    Forgiveness for an offence.

  2. pardonnoun

    An order that releases a convicted criminal without further punishment, prevents future punishment, or (in some jurisdictions) removes an offence from a person's criminal record, as if it had never been committed.

  3. pardonverb

    To forgive.

  4. pardonverb

    To grant an official pardon for a crime; unguilt.

  5. Etymology: pardonen from pardoner from *, from per- + donare, a loan-translation of a word represented by *, from fir- + geban. Akin to fargeban, firgeban, forgiefan. More at forgive.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Pardonnoun

    Etymology: pardon, Fr. from the verb.

    He that pleaseth great men, shall get pardon for iniquity. Ecclus. xx. 27.

    A slight pamphlet, about the elements of architecture, hath been entertained with some pardon among my friends. Henry Wotton.

    A man may be safe as to his condition, but, in the mean time, dark and doubtful as to his apprehensions; secure in his pardon, but miserable in the ignorance of it; and so passing all his days in the disconsolate, uneasy vicissitudes of hopes and fears, at length go out of the world, not knowing whither he goes. Robert South, Sermons.

    The battle done, and they within our power,
    Shall never see his pardon. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

  2. To PARDONverb

    Etymology: pardonner, French.

    When I beheld you in Cilicia,
    An enemy to Rome, I pardon’d you. Dryden.

    That thou may’st see the diff’rence of our spirit,
    I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it. William Shakespeare.

    Sir, pardon me, it is a letter from my brother. William Shakespeare.


  1. Pardon

    A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be relieved of some or all of the legal consequences resulting from a criminal conviction. A pardon may be granted before or after conviction for the crime, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.Pardons can be granted in many countries when individuals are deemed to have demonstrated that they have "paid their debt to society", or are otherwise considered to be deserving of them. In some jurisdictions of some nations, accepting a pardon may implicitly constitute an admission of guilt; the offer is refused in some cases. Cases of wrongful conviction are in recent times more often dealt with by appeal rather than by pardon; however, a pardon is sometimes offered when innocence is undisputed in order to avoid the costs that are associated with a retrial. Clemency plays a critical role when capital punishment exists in a jurisdiction. Pardons are sometimes seen as a mechanism for combating corruption, allowing a particular authority to circumvent a flawed judicial process to free someone who is seen as wrongly convicted. Pardons can also be a source of controversy. In extreme cases, some pardons may be seen as acts of corruption by officials in the form of granting effective immunity as political favors.


  1. pardon

    A pardon is an official act by a person in authority, mainly the head of a state, such as a president or monarch, or a religious authority, granting forgiveness or clemity for a crime and absolving the individual from further punishment. This act may nullify the penalties associated with the crime, restore civil rights, and effectively wipe the crime from their record, as though it had never been committed.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pardonverb

    the act of pardoning; forgiveness, as of an offender, or of an offense; release from penalty; remission of punishment; absolution

  2. Pardonverb

    an official warrant of remission of penalty

  3. Pardonverb

    the state of being forgiven

  4. Pardonverb

    a release, by a sovereign, or officer having jurisdiction, from the penalties of an offense, being distinguished from amenesty, which is a general obliteration and canceling of a particular line of past offenses

  5. Pardonverb

    to absolve from the consequences of a fault or the punishment of crime; to free from penalty; -- applied to the offender

  6. Pardonverb

    to remit the penalty of; to suffer to pass without punishment; to forgive; -- applied to offenses

  7. Pardonverb

    to refrain from exacting as a penalty

  8. Pardonverb

    to give leave (of departure) to


  1. Pardon

    A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the cancellation of the relevant penalty; it is usually granted by a head of state or by acts of a parliament or a religious authority. Clemency means the forgiveness of a crime or the cancellation of the penalty associated with it. It is a general concept that encompasses several related procedures: pardoning, commutation, remission and reprieves. Commutation or remission is the lessening of a penalty without forgiveness for the crime; the beneficiary is still considered guilty of the offense. A reprieve is the temporary postponement of punishment, often with a view to a pardon or other review of the sentence. Today, pardons are granted in many countries when individuals have demonstrated that they have fulfilled their debt to society, or are otherwise considered to be deserving. Pardons are sometimes offered to persons who are wrongfully convicted or claim they have been wrongfully convicted. Some believe accepting such a pardon implicitly constitutes an admission of guilt as a pardon does not set aside the conviction, so in some cases the offer is refused. Cases of wrongful conviction are nowadays more often dealt with by appeal than by pardon however, a pardon is sometimes offered when innocence is undisputed to avoid the costs of a retrial. Clemency plays a very important role when capital punishment is applied.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pardon

    pär′don, v.t. to forgive, said either of an offender or of a crime: to pass by without punishment or blame: to set free from punishment: to let off without doing something.—n. forgiveness, either of an offender or of his offence: remission of a penalty or punishment: a warrant declaring a pardon: a papal indulgence.—adj. Par′donable, that may be pardoned: excusable.—n. Par′donableness.—adv. Par′donably.—n. Par′doner, one who pardons: formerly, one licensed to sell papal indulgences.—p.adj. Par′doning, disposed to pardon: forgiving: exercising the right or power to pardon: conferring authority to grant pardon.—Pardon me, excuse me—used in apology and to soften a contradiction. [Fr. pardonner—Low L. perdonāre—L. per, through, away, donāre, to give.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. pardon

    The gazetted amnesty or remission of penalty for deserters who return to their duty; the same as act of grace.

Editors Contribution

  1. pardon

    The act of to forgive.

    The Presidential pardon was just for these gentlemen as they were reflecting the collective at that time.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 26, 2019  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pardon is ranked #20996 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Pardon surname appeared 1,253 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Pardon.

    79% or 990 total occurrences were White.
    11.9% or 150 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    5.5% or 70 total occurrences were Black.
    1.7% or 22 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.2% or 16 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.4% or 5 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pardon' in Written Corpus Frequency: #726

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pardon' in Nouns Frequency: #2090

How to pronounce pardon?

How to say pardon in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pardon in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pardon in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of pardon in a Sentence

  1. Francis of Assisi:

    Where there is injury let me sow pardon.

  2. Saint Francis of Assisi:

    Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace Where there is hatred let me sow love Where there is injury, pardon Where there is doubt, faith Where there is despair, hope Where there is darkness, light Where there is sadness, joy.

  3. Marco Rubio:

    The good news is that we can get this passed. We don't have to keep doing this stupidity anymore. Why we would enshrine this in our laws and keep it for so long is beyond me, hopefully, this is the year that this gets done. And pardon the pun, but this is an idea whose time has come.

  4. Joe Exotic:

    Please ask President Biden to make history and sign every pardon on his desk and every compassionate release at the beginning of this term, not at the end.

  5. Jonathan Turley:

    No president in history has used this power to pardon himself – not Andrew Johnson, not Richard Nixon, not Bill Clinton. It would be a truly ignoble, historical moment for Donald Trump to use this type of power.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for pardon

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for pardon »


Find a translation for the pardon definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"pardon." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pardon>.

Discuss these pardon definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for pardon? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause)
    A secession
    B ditch
    C elan
    D nitrile

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for pardon: