res·​ti·​tu·​tion | \ ˌre-stə-ˈtü-shən How to pronounce restitution (audio) , -ˈtyü- \

Definition of restitution

1 : an act of restoring or a condition of being restored: such as
a : a restoration of something to its rightful owner
b : a making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury
2 : a legal action serving to cause restoration of a previous state

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Examples of restitution in a Sentence

the restitution of her stolen property He was ordered to make restitution to the victim.
Recent Examples on the Web In enacting a law calling for restitution and offering a sincere apology, your fellow Americans have, in a very real sense, renewed their traditional commitment to the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "The Incalculable Debt That America Owes Black People," 26 Feb. 2021 Black Democrats have long expressed support for restitution for slavery, but the 2020 election brought about more support from white leaders, including then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "A new chapter in the tale of reparations in America," 19 Oct. 2020 The former assemblyman was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay $685,000 in restitution, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson. Nora Mishanec, San Francisco Chronicle, "Former state assemblyman sentenced to year in prison for BART coffee shop fraud scheme," 10 Feb. 2021 In addition to the 21-month prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon ordered Solomon to pay $71,816 in restitution to the victims in the case and serve three years of federal supervision after his release. Mike Perlstein,, "First defendant sentenced to 21 months behind bars in staged accidents case," 22 Jan. 2021 Driscoll also paid more than $200,000 in restitution as part of his sentencing on tax charges in July. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Federal prosecutors in northern Ohio collect more than $40 million in criminal, civil cases last fiscal year," 5 Jan. 2021 As part of her plea Monday, Barnes agreed to pay restitution of more than $4,000, which authorities say corresponded to losses by financial institutions incurred in relation to cards taken from her route., "Former mail carrier from Randallstown pleads guilty to stealing credit cards," 26 Dec. 2020 Some of the descendants of those families and their supporters have organized under a group called Emanuel Displaced Persons Association 2 and have called on the city to pay restitution to descendants. oregonlive, "Portland leaders, acknowledging racist anti-Black policies, seek to right historic wrongs," 17 Dec. 2020 In a $25 million settlement, Trump University agreed to pay restitution to former students. Graham Kates, CBS News, "The candidates who could end up prosecuting Trump weigh in on New York's criminal investigation," 30 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of restitution

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for restitution

Middle English restitucioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin restitution-, restitutio, from restituere to restore, from re- + statuere to set up — more at statute

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Time Traveler for restitution

Time Traveler

The first known use of restitution was in the 14th century

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Statistics for restitution

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Restitution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for restitution



English Language Learners Definition of restitution

: the act of returning something that was lost or stolen to its owner
: payment that is made to someone for damage, trouble, etc.


res·​ti·​tu·​tion | \ ˌres-tə-ˈtü-shən, -ˈtyü- How to pronounce restitution (audio) \

Legal Definition of restitution

1a : a restoration of something to its rightful owner
b : a making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury
2a : the equitable remedy of restoring to an aggrieved party that which was obtained in unjust enrichment
b : a remedy for breach of contract that consists of restoring the aggrieved party to the status quo that existed before the contract was made
3 : an amount to be paid for the purpose of restitution ordered to pay restitution to the victim of his crime — compare fine

Other Words from restitution

restitutional \ ˌres-​tə-​ˈtü-​shə-​nəl, -​ˈtyü-​ \ adjective
restitutionary \ ˌres-​tə-​ˈtü-​shə-​ˌner-​ē, -​ˈtyü-​ \ adjective
restitutive \ ˈres-​tə-​ˌtü-​tiv, -​ˌtyü-​ \ adjective
restitutory \ ˌres-​tə-​ˈtü-​tə-​rē, -​ˈtyü-​; rə-​ˈsti-​tyə-​ˌtōr-​ē \ adjective

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