ex‧cuse2 S3 [countable]
a reason that you give to explain careless or offensive behaviour
excuse for (doing) something
What's your excuse for being late this time?
I'm tired of listening to his excuses.
Fay's always making excuses for her husband's odd behavior.
I'm sure Mike has a good excuse for not coming.
That's a lame excuse.
a reason that you invent to explain an action and to hide your real intentions
excuse to do something
I need an excuse to call her.
The conference is an excellent excuse for a few days' holiday by the sea.
Illness was used as an excuse so the defendant could avoid trial.
look for/find an excuse
They were looking for any excuse to start a fight.
I made an excuse at the first possible moment, and got up to leave.
The arrival of the doctor gave them an excuse to leave.
used to say that someone's behaviour is too bad to be explained or accepted:
There is no excuse for such rudeness.
to explain why you are not able to do something:
Please make my excuses at the meeting tomorrow.
used when you think someone or something is very bad:
He's a rotten excuse for a lawyer. Why on earth did you hire him?
6 American English
a note written by your doctor or one of your parents saying that you were ill on a particular day [= sick note British English]