An absolving, or setting free from guilt, sin, or penalty; forgiveness of an offense. Releasing from a penalty.
- (Civil Law) An acquittal, or sentence of a judge declaring and accused person innocent. A judgment declaring a defendant to be innocent of the crime charged.
- (Religion) The exercise of priestly jurisdiction in the sacrament of penance, by which Catholics believe the sins of the truly penitent are forgiven. In the English and other Protestant churches, this act regarded as simply declaratory, not as imparting forgiveness. An absolving from ecclesiastical penalties, - for example, excommunication. The form of words by which a penitent is absolved. Under clerical law, the clergy declare a definite sentence whereby a man accused of any crime is acquitted.