Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: LAW

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: pardoner, from Late Latin perdonare 'to give freely'

pardon

2 verb
     
pardon2 [transitive]
1SCL to officially allow someone who has been found guilty of a crime to go free without being punished:
The two spies were pardoned yesterday by the President.
2 [not in progressive] formal to forgive someone for behaving badly [= forgive]
pardon somebody for something
He could never pardon her for the things she had said.
3

somebody may be pardoned for doing something

used to say that it is easy to understand why someone has done something or why they think something:
Anyone reading the advertisement might be pardoned for thinking that the offer was genuine.
4

pardon me

spoken
a) used to say 'sorry' politely when you have accidentally pushed someone or interrupted them:
Oh, pardon me, I didn't mean to disturb you.
b) used to say 'sorry' politely after you have made an impolite sound such as a burp
c) used before you politely correct someone or disagree with them:
James, if you'll pardon me, you've got it all wrong.
d) used to politely get someone's attention in order to ask them a question [= excuse me]:
Pardon me, can you direct me to City Hall?
5

pardon me for interrupting/asking/saying

spoken used to politely ask if you can interrupt someone, ask them a question, or tell them something:
Pardon me for saying so, but you don't look well.
6

pardon my ignorance/rudeness etc

spoken used when you want to say something which you think may make you seem not to know enough or not to be polite enough:
Pardon my ignorance, but what does OPEC stand for?
7

if you'll pardon the expression

spoken used when you are saying that you are sorry for using an impolite phrase:
It was a bit of a cock-up, if you'll pardon the expression.
8

pardon my French

spoken used humorously to say that you are sorry for using a swear word
9

pardon me for breathing/living

spoken used when you are annoyed because you think someone has answered you angrily for no good reason:
'Shut up, Callum!' 'Well, pardon me for breathing.'
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