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What might be a good antonym of implicate in the context of troubleshooting an engineering problem? I can think of exonerate and vindicate but both sound more about crime than to refer to a component previously thought to introduce a design flaw in the overall system.

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You are already giving two acceptable antonyms; I suggest starting there and using a thesaurus. – MrHen Feb 12 '12 at 22:03
I wound up using vindicate last night since I noticed it used for theorems. – Marcos Feb 13 '12 at 10:50

Rule out, clear, and eliminate are terms commonly so used. Also checked.

Related phrases are no help and no joy. For example, in a tech's logbook one is more likely to read things like "Swapped EC board, no help. Swapped TF board, still no joy" than like "Swapped EC board and ruled it out. Swapped TF board and ruled it out". I suppose no help to be a severe ellipsis of It provided no help.

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Thanks; your first three suggestions tend to require more words of explanation. As for idioms like no joy I try to avoid in likely international settings. Eg. use of idioms in Polish technical discussions throw me off all the time, and they don't even realize it (in turn, they wouldn't initially get what I mean by "throw off"). – Marcos Feb 13 '12 at 10:57

In an electronic troubleshooting context:

This blown internal fuse implicates an overcurrent of some kind, but excludes a short in the devices' power cable being the cause of the problem.

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The word you might be looking for is discard/discarded. It's used a lot when troubleshooting. You usually discard alternatives until you isolate the source of the problem.

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