Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Admitting of excuse or palliation. As used in the law, this wordimplies that the act or omission spoken of is on its face unlawful, wrong or liable to entail loss or disadvantage on the person chargeable, but that the circumstances attending it were such as to constitute a legal "excuse" for it, that is, a legal reason for withholding or foregoing the punishment, liability or disadvantage which otherwise would follow.
    —Excusable assault. One committed by accident or misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means, with ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent. People v. O'Connor, 82 App. Div. 55, 81 N. Y. Supp. 555.
    — Excusable homicide. See Homicide.
    —Excusable neglect. In practice, and particularly with reference to the setting aside of a judgment taken against a party through his "excusable neglect," this means a failure to take the proper steps at the proper time, not in consequence of the party's own carelessness, inattention, or willful disregard of the process of the court, but in consequence of some unexpected or unavoidable hindrance or accident, or reliance on the care and vigilance of his counsel or on promises made by the adverse party. See 1 Bl. Judgm. § 340.