Use the adjective exonerated to describe someone who's been proven innocent. A boy whose mother thinks he stole a bag of candy is exonerated when his teacher explains that he won the candy in a spelling contest.

When a suspect is let off the hook, or freed from guilt, he is exonerated. A prisoner set free after his lawyer presents new evidence is exonerated of his crime, and a basketball player might be exonerated of a foul accusation once the referees examine a video tape of the game. Exonerated comes from the Latin word for "remove a burden or unload," exoneratus. When the burden of guilt is removed from you, you're exonerated.

Definitions of exonerated

adj freed from any question of guilt

absolved, clear, cleared, exculpated, vindicated
clean-handed, guiltless, innocent
free from evil or guilt

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