tr.v. par·doned, par·don·ing, par·dons
1. To release (a person) from punishment or disfavor for wrongdoing or a fault: a convicted criminal who was pardoned by the governor. See Synonyms at forgive.
2. To allow (an offense or fault) to pass without punishment or disfavor.
3. To make courteous allowance for; excuse: Pardon me, I'm in a hurry.
1. The act of pardoning.
a. Exemption of a convicted person from the penalties of an offense or crime by the power of the executor of the laws.
b. An official document or warrant declaring such an exemption.
3. Allowance or forgiveness for an offense or a discourtesy: begged the host's pardon for leaving early.
4. Roman Catholic Church An indulgence.
[Middle English pardonen, from Old French pardoner, from Vulgar Latin *perdōnāre, to give wholeheartedly : Latin per-, intensive pref.; see PER- + Latin dōnāre, to present, forgive (from dōnum, gift; see dō- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus