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excuse me

1. A polite phrase used after one has done something that does not adhere to proper etiquette. Oh, excuse me—I didn't mean to bump into you, ma'am. Petey, say "excuse me" after you burp!
2. A phrase said when one is trying to pass through a crowded area. This phrase is sometimes verbally shortened to 'scuse me. Excuse me, everyone, I have to get through with this cart.
3. An expression of politeness that precedes a possible disagreement or an upsetting question. Excuse me, sir, but didn't you specifically tell us to make that change last month?
4. An indignant response, often posed as a question. Excuse me? How can you say something that hurtful to me, your own mother? Well, excuse me for actually caring about your future, unlike you!
5. A request for one to repeat what they have said. Excuse me? I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.
6. A phrase used when one is correcting a verbal mistake. We had 200, excuse me, 210 people at the event.
7. An apologetic phrase that precedes an interruption. Excuse me, sir, but your wife is calling on line two—she says it's urgent.
8. An apologetic phrase that precedes a departure. Excuse me, I have to leave early for a doctor's appointment. I'll see you all tomorrow.
See also: excuse
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

excuse someone

1. . to forgive someone. (Usually with me. Said when interrupting or when some other minor offense has been committed. There are many mannerly uses of this expression.) John came in late and said, "Excuse me, please." John said "excuse me" when he interrupted our conversation. When John made a strange noise at the table, he said quietly, "Excuse me." John suddenly left the room saying, "Excuse me. I'll be right back."
2. to permit someone to leave; to permit someone to remain away from an event. The coach excused John from practice yesterday. The teacher excused John, and he ran quickly from the room.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
As to Rand, one hopes that she never literally meant her declaration of "the virtue of selfishness." I prefer to think that her provocative slogan was a calculated indulgence in rhetorical excess or, less excusably, a product of careless disregard for the precise meanings of words.
The quality of the catalogue's colour reproductions is frequently disappointing--most especially (and least excusably) when reproducing works in the National Gallery itself.
Of an occasional slip in holding our equally strict standards we might excusably therefore be more tolerant ourselves and expect friends to be--especially as we have no material or moral interest in incurring the reproach of pedantry by exercising a censorship over what the Time Spirit not only accepts but calls for....
(23) All the examples concern a clear rule of dharma that is excusably transgressed by a god or great sage.
We learn that Sunday got its name from the Babylonians, based on some excusably faulty astronomy and a desire to connect changes in the calendar--hours, days, weeks, seasons--to the travels of the planets.
Both Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) mumble and swallow half their words, perhaps excusably, given the splendor of their surroundings.
(124) Somewhat less excusably, two articles by law professors similarly failed to make this distinction.
But it has meant one has asked inevitable questions about whether one's time is spent valuably - or even excusably - working in something as pivotal to the world's existence as racing.
Very occasionally, and excusably, they miss quirks of British culture that perhaps no outsider would understand.
One is not greedy--or is excusably greedy--if one merely wants more money, but one is greedy-sometimes unlawfully greedy--if one makes too much money, at the expense of too many people, especially if they are consumers rather than business rivals.
A brief section of wacko color processing in the Spanish section is excusably jolting, despite being almost as gratuitous as the random stylistic variations in Terry Gilliam's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
Inevitably, and therefore excusably, regions and types of slavery get left out.
According to Ashraf, Jones "excusably felt that his poem had been prophetic," [16] once more underscoring the close link between Jones's poetry and contemporary politics.
Most of the usual suspects are there (Homer, Sappho, Pericles, Socrates, Aristotle, Alexander - with Plato as a near-constant sub-text) and Prof Cartledge excusably explains his omission of the three great Athenian Tragedians of the fifth century by pleading pressure of space and a desire to move from the all too familiar concentration on Athens.