com·​mu·​ta·​tion | \ ˌkäm-yə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce commutation (audio) , -yü- \

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 on the Web Dixon was denied his request for commutation or reprieve last week by the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency. Perry Vandell, USA TODAY, 11 May 2022 The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency denied requests from Dixon's attorneys for a commutation or reprieve. Chelsea Curtis, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2022 On April 28, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency unanimously denied his lawyers' petition for commutation or reprieve of Dixon's sentence, CNN affiliate KNXV reported. Andi Babineau And Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN, 11 May 2022 The attorneys presented his requests for a commutation of sentence or a reprieve to the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency in late April. Jimmy Jenkins, The Arizona Republic, 3 May 2022 Shaniya Tate, 18, arrived from Putnam City North High School and said Jones’ commutation was a relief. Josh Dulaney, USA TODAY, 20 Nov. 2021 Jones, who was recommended for a commutation and later clemency by Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board, has maintained his innocence since his arrest at age 19. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 The clemency application seeks the commutation of Lucio's death sentence to a lesser penalty or a 120-day reprieve from her execution. Amy Simonson, CNN, 8 Apr. 2022 Not all of the victims’ relatives opposed commutation. Kelan Lyons,, 21 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of commutation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commutation

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

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Time Traveler for commutation

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near commutation

commutating pole


commutation ticket

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Statistics for commutation

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Commutation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on commutation

Britannica English: Translation of commutation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about commutation


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