n. pl. al·i·bis
a. A form of defense whereby a defendant attempts to prove that they were elsewhere when the crime in question was committed.
b. The fact of having been elsewhere when a crime in question was committed.
2. An explanation offered to avoid blame or justify action; an excuse.
v. al·i·bied, al·i·bi·ing, al·i·bis
To make an excuse for oneself.
To make an excuse for (another).
[Latin, elsewhere, from alius, other (on the model of ibi, there) ; see al-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.