Duty vs Acquit - What's the difference?

duty | acquit |

In context|obsolete|lang=en terms the difference between duty and acquit

is that duty is (obsolete) one's due, something one is owed; a debt or fee while acquit is (obsolete) to release, set free, rescue.

As a noun duty

is that which one is morally or legally obligated to do.

As a verb acquit is

to declare or find not guilty; innocent or acquit can be (archaic) past participle of acquit , set free, rid of.




  • That which one is morally or legally obligated to do.
  • :
  • *1805 , 21 October,
  • *:England expects that every man will do his duty .
  • *
  • *:Captain Edward Carlisle; he could not tell what this prisoner might do. He cursed the fate which had assigned such a duty , cursed especially that fate which forced a gallant soldier to meet so superb a woman as this under handicap so hard.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1959, author=(Georgette Heyer), title=(The Unknown Ajax), chapter=1
  • , passage=Charles had not been employed above six months at Darracott Place, but he was not such a whopstraw as to make the least noise in the performance of his duties when his lordship was out of humour.}}
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-10, volume=408, issue=8848, magazine=(The Economist), author=Lexington
  • , title= Keeping the mighty honest , passage=British journalists shun complete respectability, feeling a duty to be ready to savage the mighty, or rummage through their bins. Elsewhere in Europe, government contracts and subsidies ensure that press barons will only defy the mighty so far.}}
  • A period of time spent at work or doing a particular task.
  • :
  • Describing a workload as to its idle, working and de-energized periods.
  • A tax placed on imports or exports; a tariff.
  • (lb) One's due, something one is owed; a debt or fee.
  • *1526 , (William Tyndale), trans. Bible , (w) XX:
  • *:Take that which is thy duty , and goo thy waye.
  • (lb) Respect; reverence; regard; act of respect; homage.
  • *(William Shakespeare) (c.1564–1616)
  • *:my duty to you
  • The efficiency of an engine, especially a steam pumping engine, as measured by work done by a certain quantity of fuel; usually, the number of pounds of water lifted one foot by one bushel of coal (94 lbs. old standard), or by 1 cwt. (112 lbs., England, or 100 lbs., United States).
  • Usage notes

    * Adjectives often used with "duty": public, private, moral, legal, social, double, civic, contractual, political, judicial, etc.


    * (that which one is obligated to do) obligation


    * duty-free (taxes) * (that which one is obligated to do) right

    Derived terms

    * active duty * chimney-duty * civic duty * death duty * Delivered Duty Paid * Delivered Duty Unpaid * dutiable * dutiful * duty-bound * duty calls * duty cycle * duty of care * estate duty * excise duty * export duty * fatigue duty * fiduciary duty * filial duty * heavy-duty * import duty * jury duty * legal duty * light-duty * line of duty * neglect duty * on duty * off duty * point duty * sea duty/sea-duty * shore duty * stamp duty * succession duty * tonnage duty * tour of duty





    Alternative forms

    * acquite (archaic)


  • To declare or find not guilty; innocent.
  • * '>citation
  • To set free, release or discharge from an obligation, duty, liability, burden, or from an accusation or charge.
  • The jury acquitted the prisoner ''of'' the charge.
  • * 1775 , , The Duenna
  • His poverty, can you acquit him of that?
  • * 1837 , , “Lord Bacon” in The Edinburgh Review , July 1837
  • If he [Bacon] was convicted, it was because it was impossible to acquit him without offering the grossest outrage to justice and common sense.
  • (obsolete, rare) To pay for; to atone for
  • * , line 1071
  • Till life to death acquit my forced offence.
  • To discharge, as a claim or debt; to clear off; to pay off; to requite, to fulfill.
  • * , 1200
  • Aquyte him wel, for goddes love,’ quod he;
  • * 1640 , , Tasso
  • Midst foes (as champion of the faith) he ment / That palme or cypress should his painees acquite .
  • * 1836 , , Orations I-382
  • I admit it to be not so much the duty as the privilege of an American citizen to acquit this obligation to the memory of his fathers with discretion and generosity.
  • * 1844 , ” in Essays: second series
  • We see young men who owe us a new world, so readily and lavishly they promise, but they never acquit the debt; they die young and dodge the account: or if they live, they lose themselves in the crowd.
  • (reflexive) To clear one’s self.
  • * , III-ii
  • Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!
  • (reflexive) To bear or conduct one’s self; to perform one’s part.
  • The soldier acquitted himself well in battle.
    The orator acquitted himself very poorly.
  • * November 2 2014 , Daniel Taylor, " Sergio Agüero strike wins derby for Manchester City against 10-man United," guardian.co.uk
  • Van Gaal responded by replacing Adnan Januzaj with Carrick and, in fairness, the emergency centre-half did exceedingly well given that he has not played since May. McNair also acquitted himself well after Rojo was injured sliding into a challenge with Martín Demichelis
  • * 1766 , , The vicar of Wakefield , xiv
  • Though this was one of the first mercantile transactions of my life, yet I had no doubt about acquitting myself with reputation.
  • (obsolete) To release, set free, rescue.
  • * , I-vii-52
  • Till I have acquit your captive Knight.
  • (archaic)
  • * , I-iii
  • I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder box.


    * absolve * clear * exonerate * innocent * exculpate * release * discharge

    Derived terms

    * acquital, acquittal


    * (to declare innocent) condemn, convict