res·​ti·​tu·​tion | \ˌre-stə-ˈtü-shən, -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

The class-action suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, seeks the restitution of dues since the Janus decision. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Janus Ruling Fallout: Washington state employees sue to 'escape' union," 3 Aug. 2018 He was sentenced to 26 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a restitution payment of $450,000 toward five survivors of his trafficking. Faith E. Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "7 people convicted in two Indianapolis sex trafficking cases involving kids," 29 June 2018 His potential restitution total was given as $35.4 million. Janet Mcconnaughey, Fox News, "Camp Minden explosives: Last defendant to change plea," 13 June 2018 All previous efforts failed, however, with one of the biggest obstacles being concerns among lawmakers about how much the restitution legislation could cost. Joanna Berendt, New York Times, "In Poland, ‘a Narrow Window to Do Justice’ for Those Robbed by Nazis," 10 June 2018 CBS News reported that the teen’s parents are not liable for any of the restitution payments. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "A Washington Teen Has Been Ordered to Pay $36 Million for Starting Oregon's Eagle Creek Fire," 22 May 2018 Parents in the organization NOLA Village are urging the school district and Einstein to take another look at the restitution fund, with input from the public. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii,, "Einstein Charter spent $85,000 on lawyers during busing dispute," 22 May 2018 Walker was ordered to donate $200 to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pay $150 into a victim restitution fund and stay away from his victim, the newspaper reported. Jared Gilmour, sacbee, "Cop in black man’s shooting death had been fired after racial slurs — then reinstated, police say | The Sacramento Bee," 1 May 2018 There’s a restitution order in place, and that’s something that Mr. Landis will be responsible for. Mark Zeigler,, "Landis gets $2.75 million in settlement with Lance, but how much will he keep?," 20 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for restitution

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

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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- \

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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