excuse oneself

[excuse oneself] {v. phr.} 1. To think of reasons for not being toblame; think yourself not at fault.

John excused himself for hislow grades on the ground that the teacher didn't like him.

2. To askto be excused after doing something impolite.

John excused himselffor his tardiness, saying his watch was wrong.

3. To ask permissionto leave a group or place.

The committee meeting lasted so longthat Mr. Wilkins excused himself to keep an appointment.

John hadto go to the dentist's, so he excused himself and left the classroom.