commute

verb
com·​mute | \ kə-ˈmyüt How to pronounce commute (audio) \
commuted; commuting

Definition of commute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : change, alter
b : to give in exchange for another : exchange commuting foreign currency to domestic
2 : to convert (something, such as a payment) into another form The periodic payments may be commuted into a lump sum.
3 : to change (a penalty) to another less severe commute a death sentence to life in prison
4 : commutate

intransitive verb

1 : make up, compensate commuted for her sins
2 : to pay in gross (see gross entry 3 sense 1)
3 : to travel back and forth regularly (as between a suburb and a city) He commutes to work every day by car.
4 : to yield the same mathematical result regardless of order used of two elements undergoing an operation or of two operations on elements

commute

noun

Definition of commute (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or an instance of commuting
2 : the distance covered in commuting a long commute

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from commute

Verb

commutable \ kə-​ˈmyü-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce commutable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for commute

Synonyms: Verb

change, exchange, shift, substitute, swap, switch, trade

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

When you commute between a suburb and a city, you're "exchanging" one location for another. When a chief executive substitutes a life sentence for the death sentence handed down by a court, he or she is commuting the original sentence. Most such commutations are the result of the prisoner's good behavior. A commutator is a device in many electric motors that regularly changes alternating current to direct current.

Examples of commute in a Sentence

Verb

He commutes to work every day by train. She commutes 400 miles a week. The judge commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Public transit commuters are more likely to be daily walkers, 69 percent, than those who commute by car, 31 percent. Emily Guskin, Washington Post, "Washington Post-Schar School poll," 7 June 2019 Her requests for clemency had been rejected by President Barack Obama, who during eight years in office commuted the sentences of hundreds of federal inmates convicted of drug crimes. Darlene Superville, The Seattle Times, "Trump guests include freed drug offender, bullied student," 5 Feb. 2019 Fire operations will be scheduled to minimize any delays during commuting hours. Frank Kummer, Philly.com, "You can watch as Valley Forge burns 150 acres of meadow," 10 Apr. 2018 To address common commuting concerns, Marin included reliable, low-maintenance components like hydraulic disc brakes, puncture-resistant tires, and a 3-speed internally gear hub. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Commuter Bikes for Any Commute," 16 May 2019 The exercise commuting trend is growing particularly fast in certain states. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The 2 Things That Will Help Motivate You to Be More Active, According to a New Strava Report," 28 Nov. 2018 Kaiser, headquartered in Oakland, received $150,000 to manage its workers’ commuting and parking patterns. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Chariot adds commute routes for UCSF employees, with public funding," 28 June 2018 The probe follows recent revelations the state had failed for decades to pay taxes on tens of millions of dollars in commuting perks for State Police troopers. Kay Lazar, BostonGlobe.com, "Despite warning, MassDOT continued toll-free perk for workers, retirees," 8 June 2018 Add in commuting time, and the situation can be summarized by two words: no life. Meryl Gordon, Town & Country, "The Curious Life and Shocking Death of Huguette Clark," 21 May 2014

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The average commute time has been steadily creeping higher this decade, according to 2016 data from the Census Bureau. Brandon Patterson, Detroit Free Press, "Study: Detroit ranks 3rd among cities that commute to work after 9 a.m.," 30 Mar. 2018 Buses and cars became snarled in the evening commute on unplowed roads. Paul Berger, WSJ, "New York City and New Jersey Take Heat Over Response to Snowstorm," 16 Nov. 2018 The 68-year-old legal secretary doesn’t mind the two-hour commute on the MARC Brunswick Line to her job at the Department of Justice. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "West Virginia will pay Maryland $1.5 million to keep MARC service for a year. Then what?," 28 Apr. 2018 Fresh snow will make for a slippery commute on Monday morning, forecasters warned. Tom Leyden, Indianapolis Star, "Snow will greet Monday morning commuters," 14 Jan. 2018 So get your nose out of your phone and start looking in the store on your morning commute, because there is an actual artist that sits in the window and paints pets. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Fishs Eddy Has A Pet Portrait Artist-In-Residence," 6 Nov. 2018 Or enjoy a seat on your commute home from a yoga class without worrying about leaving a sweaty butt mark for the next passenger (Ahimsa). Blanca Myers, WIRED, "From Mats to Hoodies, 9 Ways to Elevate Your Yoga Practice," 24 June 2018 As their towns have lost manufacturing and craftsman jobs, residents’ commutes have gotten longer, leaving less time for volunteer work. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "Answering the call," 1 June 2018 Judging from his smile in the photos, the student seems very happy that his commute just got a bit quicker. William Axford, Houston Chronicle, "Texas student who walked one hour to and from school receives bike from sheriff's office," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of commute

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1954, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commute

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Latin commutare to change, exchange, from com- + mutare to change — more at mutable

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about commute

Statistics for commute

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for commute

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for commute

commute

verb

English Language Learners Definition of commute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to travel regularly to and from a place and especially between where you live and where you work
law : to change (a punishment) to a less severe one

commute

noun

English Language Learners Definition of commute (Entry 2 of 2)

: the journey that you make when you travel to or from a place that you go to regularly (such as the place where you work)

commute

verb
com·​mute | \ kə-ˈmyüt How to pronounce commute (audio) \
commuted; commuting

Kids Definition of commute

1 : to travel back and forth regularly
2 : to change (as a penalty) to something less severe The governor commuted the convict's sentence.

Other Words from commute

commuter noun

commute

transitive verb
com·​mute | \ kə-ˈmyüt How to pronounce commute (audio) \
commuted; commuting

Legal Definition of commute

1 : to convert (as a payment) into another form
2 : to change (a penalty) to one less severe especially out of clemency — compare pardon

Other Words from commute

commutation \ ˌkä-​myə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce commutation (audio) \ noun
commutative \ kə-​ˈmyü-​tə-​tiv, ˈkä-​myə-​ˌtā-​tiv How to pronounce commutative (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on commute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for commute

Spanish Central: Translation of commute

Nglish: Translation of commute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commute for Arabic Speakers

Comments on commute

What made you want to look up commute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!