commutation

noun

com·​mu·​ta·​tion ˌkäm-yə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce commutation (audio)
-yü-
1
2
: replacement
specifically : a substitution of one form of payment or charge for another
a commutation by money payment for the exacted service
3
: a change of a legal penalty or punishment to a lesser one
commutation of a death sentence
4
: an act or process of commuting
… a ridge of hills makes daily commutation to San Francisco arduous.The New York Times
5
: the action of commutating

Examples of commutation in a Sentence

He appealed for a commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment. an international commutation of food for oil
Recent Examples on the Web But Trump’s commutation was limited to his prison sentence, not his conviction and the deadlocked verdicts, Justice Department lawyers argued. Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, 2 Feb. 2024 As governor, Newsom has granted more than 300 pardons, commutations and reprieves through a system that involves multiple layers of scrutiny. Mackenzie Mays, Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2023 He was then barred from returning to the IBT until 1980 as part of his commutation agreement with President Nixon. Joe Otterson, Variety, 18 Jan. 2024 Baker, Healey’s immediate predecessor, left office having 15 pardons approved by the Governor’s Council, in addition to three commutations for men serving life sentences for murder — all in his final year. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, 14 June 2023 Monroe attended the university from 2015 to 2019 and graduated with a degree in commutations, according to Metress. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2023 Only four executions were ultimately carried out, however, which was typical of the Nuremberg trials: convictions, heavy sentences and later commutations. Robert D. McFadden, New York Times, 8 Apr. 2023 Baker left office having 15 pardons approved by the Governor’s Council, in addition to three commutations for men serving life sentences for murder — all done in his final year. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, 31 Aug. 2023 The board can recommend a pardon or commutation from the governor. Serena Lin, The Arizona Republic, 7 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commutation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English commutacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin commutation-, commutatio, from commutare

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of commutation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near commutation

Cite this Entry

“Commutation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commutation. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

commutation

noun
com·​mu·​ta·​tion ˌkäm-yə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce commutation (audio)
1
2
: a reduction of a legal penalty
3
: an act of commuting
4
: the process of reversing the direction of an electric circuit

More from Merriam-Webster on commutation

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