excuse me

excuse me
An expression used as an apology for any slight or apparent impropriety, esp as a request to pass, leave, interrupt or catch someone's attention or for contradicting a statement that has been made, or (US) when correcting oneself
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Main Entry:excuse

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said politely in various contexts, for example when attempting to get someone's attention, asking someone to move so that one may pass, or interrupting or disagreeing with a speaker
said when asking someone to repeat what they have just said

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excuse me
Excuse me is used as a polite way of starting to say something. It can be used when you are interrupting someone, trying to get someone's attention, or disagreeing with someone.

Excuse me, but may I say something?

Excuse me, but do you mind if I shut the window?

Excuse me, do you know where I can find Maple Street?

Excuse me, but I don't think those figures are entirely accurate.

It is also used as a polite apology for a minor fault or offense, such as laughing, coughing, or burping, and, in U.S. English, for getting in someone's way or bumping into someone.

Oh, excuse me. [=pardon me, I beg your pardon] I didn't notice you standing there.

The phrase is also used, especially in U.S. English, as a polite way of asking someone to repeat something.

Excuse me? [=pardon me?; I beg your pardon?] I didn't hear the last part of what you were saying.

In informal use, excuse me is often used in an annoyed way when someone has suggested that you have done something wrong and you do not feel that you have.

“You were supposed to be home an hour ago.” “Well, excuse me! I had to fix a flat tire.”

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Main Entry:excuse

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exˈcuse me idiom
1. used to politely get sb's attention, especially sb you do not know

Excuse me, is this the way to the station?

2. used to politely ask sb to move so that you can get past them

Excuse me, could you let me through?

3. used to say that you are sorry for interrupting sb or behaving in a slightly rude way

Guy sneezed loudly. ‘Excuse me,’ he said.

4. used to disagree politely with sb

Excuse me, but I don't think that's true.

5. used to politely tell sb that you are going to leave or talk to sb else

‘Excuse me for a moment,’ she said and left the room.

6. (especially NAmE) used to say sorry for pushing sb or doing sth wrong

Oh, excuse me. I didn't see you there.

7. excuse me? (NAmE) used when you did not hear what sb said and you want them to repeat it
Main entry:excuseidiom

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • excuse — [ ɛkskyz ] n. f. • fin XIVe; de excuser 1 ♦ Raison alléguée pour se défendre d une accusation, d un reproche, pour expliquer ou atténuer une faute. ⇒ 1. défense, explication, justification, motif, raison. Alléguer, donner, fournir une bonne… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • excuse — ex·cuse 1 /ik skyüz/ vb ex·cused, ex·cus·ing vt 1: to grant exemption or release to excused the prospective juror excused the witness after an hour of testimony 2 …   Law dictionary

  • excuse — Excuse. subst. fem. v. Raison que l on apporte pour s excuser. Excuse legitime, bonne, recevable, valable. excuse impertinente, legere, sotte, mauvaise excuse. donner, apporter, alleguer une excuse. mediter, forger une excuse, des excuses. il a… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Excuse — Ex*cuse , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Excused}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Excusing}.] [OE. escusen, cusen, OF. escuser, excuser, F. excuser, fr. L. excusare; ex out + causa cause, causari to plead. See {Cause}.] 1. To free from accusation, or the imputation of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Excuse — Ex*cuse , n. [Cf. F. excuse. See {Excuse}, v. t.] 1. The act of excusing, apologizing, exculpating, pardoning, releasing, and the like; acquittal; release; absolution; justification; extenuation. [1913 Webster] Pleading so wisely in excuse of it …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Excuse Me Mr. — Excuse Me Mr. Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Excuse Me Mr.» Sencillo de No Doubt del álbum Tragic kingdom Publicación 1996 (América) Formato CD Single …   Wikipedia Español

  • excuse — vb Excuse, condone, pardon, forgive, remit are comparable when meaning not to exact punishment or redress for (an offense) or from (an offender). In polite use excuse, pardon, and forgive usually suggest a hope that one is not annoyed. Both… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • excuse — [ek skyo͞oz′, ikskyo͞oz′; ] for n. [, ekskyo͞os′] vt. excused, excusing [ME excusen < OFr escuser & L excusare, to free from a charge < L ex , from + causa, a charge: see CAUSE] 1. to try to free (a person) of blame; seek to exonerate 2. to …   English World dictionary

  • excuse — ► VERB 1) seek or serve to justify (a fault or offence). 2) release from a duty or requirement. 3) forgive (a fault or a person committing one). 4) (used in polite formulas) allow (someone) to leave a room or gathering. 5) (excuse oneself) say… …   English terms dictionary

  • excuse-me — or excuse me dance noun A dance during which one may change partners • • • Main Entry: ↑excuse …   Useful english dictionary

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