There are a couple slightly different definitions of excuses. One excuses definition is an attempt to justify something that you have done and also thereby mitigating it or making it less. Another definition is to release one from something such as a duty, such as to excuse one from going to school. Another definition is to create an explanation for something you do or something that happens such as the excuses we make for not living up to our own expectations.
Definition of Excuses in Plain English
So all of that in plain English would be about how much responsibility you wish to place elsewhere. Let’s face it, you don’t make an excuse when you do something well; you don’t say ‘I won the race because the other runners just weren’t in my way.’ So you could classify excuses into legitimate excuses and fabricated excuses. When you get right down to it, many people have an excuse they use for most anything. ‘I can’t do that, I’m just not smart enough.’ Also you don’t make an excuse when you remember to do something. You don’t say; ‘I’m sorry, I suddenly remembered it was our anniversary.’
What is the purpose of excuses?
So, really, an excuse is about avoiding some consequent or getting out of something you don’t want to do in the first place. We all know those chronic excuse makers who always say yes to whatever social plan you put forth and then back out at the last-minute with a really lame excuse. It’s like, why didn’t they say they just didn’t want to do it in the first place? Imagine telling your boss that you won’t be in for work because you just really hate your job and it’s so boring and there’s a really good game on. What if our society functioned on this sort of honesty? Would it start World War III or would there be any noticeable difference? Would it change the meaning of our excuses definition?