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

When the swindler Bernie Madoff was imprisoned for 150 years, people cheered—not just in the courthouse, but in their cars, doing their ironing, commuting to work. Tiffany Watt Smith, SELF, "Why I Stopped Feeling Bad About Feeling Schadenfreude," 29 Nov. 2018 Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence, and in the months since, Kardashian West has returned to the White House to continue to lobby for prison reform. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Kanye West will meet with Trump at the White House to talk prison reform, violence in Chicago," 9 Oct. 2018 There is a Save mode that uses the gasoline engine to keep the battery level constant; since many cabbies commute considerable distances, this will enable them to reach central London with a full battery pack. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Hacks R Us: We Drive London's New Plug-In Electric Taxicab!," 29 Mar. 2018 Six days a week, Roberta Gainer commuted every morning from Niagara Falls to Buffalo, New York, to work. Lolade Fadulu, The Atlantic, "Why Is the U.S. So Bad at Worker Retraining?," 4 Jan. 2018 As economic consultants William Grindley and Bill Warren document in a recent study, a worker who lives in Fresno would spend 10 hours and 20 minutes each day commuting to San Jose at a cost of $154 round trip—assuming no subsidies. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Death of a California Dream," 13 Feb. 2019 In the meantime, New York is watching many of its residents commute to New Jersey to place bets on mobile apps or at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, just outside New York City. Wayne Parry, The Seattle Times, "States eye sports betting, wrestle with regulatory details," 27 Nov. 2018 Vogt started classes in 1931 and commuted to school. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "105-year-old Navy veteran finally gets his college diploma from San Diego State University after 83 years," 18 Aug. 2018 Barrett was narrowly confirmed by the Senate in November, and now commutes a few days a week from South Bend to downtown Chicago. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are leading candidates for Supreme Court seat," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If ditching the morning commute wasn't enough, this position comes with other perks including an employee discount and access to the Employee Assistance Program, which provides 24/7 support and resources for professional and personal needs. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Amazon Is Hiring 3,000 Work-from-Home Positions — Find Out If You Qualify," 12 Mar. 2019 James Maroney used to split his time between Manhattan and the farm, and Suki and a young Cooke often joined in on the commute until Cooke was in kindergarten, writer Olivia French reveals. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Jennifer Lawrence's Man, Cooke Maroney?," 6 Feb. 2019 Marx predicted the average bus commute taking an additional 25 to 30 minutes. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle officials plead for help, patience as viaduct traffic problems loom," 13 Jan. 2019 The outage in Buckeye continued to affect more than 6,000 Arizona Public Service customers by the Monday-morning commute. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Smog or fog? Nah. That's dust in the Phoenix area," 9 July 2018 These slippers are for the commute from the bathtub to the bed, not the West Village to SoHo. Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Justin Bieber's Hotel Slippers Will Outlive Us All," 6 July 2018 The report said that subway riders with the longest commutes tend to have fewer backup options, especially when an alternate line is often far away. New York Times, "Subway Delays Hit Low-Income New Yorkers the Hardest, Report Says," 27 June 2018 Goldblatt’s 1989 book, The Transported of KwaNdebele documents the hours-long commute to city centers that black South Africans made from the segregated areas where they were forced to live. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "David Goldblatt, the South African Photographer Who Documented Life Under Apartheid, Has Died at 87," 27 June 2018 Interior designer David Nastasi and his husband, Michael Stone, had outgrown their Brooklyn Heights apartment and had it with the commute to their East Hampton country house. Wendy Goodman, The Cut, "An Old-Fashioned Fixer-Upper," 21 June 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

21 Mar 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

to boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!