give (someone or something) the benefit of the doubt(redirected from give something the benefit of the doubt)
give (someone or something) the benefit of the doubt
To retain a favorable or at least neutral opinion of someone or something until the full information about the subject is available. You're my sister! Can't you give me the benefit of the doubt, instead of believing the worst about me right away? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt before we start accusing him. There may be a good explanation for the missing money.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
give the benefit of the doubt
Regard someone as innocent until proven otherwise; lean toward a favorable view of someone. For example, Let's give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she's right. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
give someone the benefit of the doubt
1. If you give someone the benefit of the doubt, you decide to believe that what they are saying is honest, even though it is possible that they are not telling the truth. As to whether she deliberately lied or got the facts wrong, I suppose we could give her the benefit of the doubt.
2. If you give someone the benefit of the doubt, you decide to believe that what they are doing is right, even though it is possible that they are doing something wrong. I am basically a trusting person. I make it a practice to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
give somebody the ˌbenefit of the ˈdoubtaccept that a person is right or innocent because you cannot prove that they are not: She said she was late because of the traffic and I gave her the benefit of the doubt.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
benefit of the doubt, to give/have the
To assume or treat as innocent when there is conflicting evidence. The term comes from the law in many countries, whereby a person must be assumed to be innocent of a crime unless definitely proved to be guilty; in other words, when in doubt, the verdict must be “not guilty.” The expression began to be used figuratively for all kinds of situation in the nineteenth century.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer