Definition of commutation
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 of commutation from the Web
During radio interviews this week, Mr. LePage suggested his push for commutations was not a sudden shift in his views on the criminal justice system.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commutation'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of commutation
Middle English commutacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin commutation-, commutatio, from commutare
First Known Use: 15th century
COMMUTATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of commutation for English Language Learners
law : a change of a punishment to a less severe one
Seen and Heard
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