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


2 verb
Related topics: Law
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.

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.

pardon me

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?

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.

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?

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.

pardon my French

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

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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