set·tle·ment | \ˈse-tᵊl-mənt \

Definition of settlement 

1 : the act or process of settling

2a : an act of bestowing or giving possession under legal sanction

b : the sum, estate, or income secured to one by such a settlement

3a : occupation by settlers

b : a place or region newly settled

c : a small village

5 : an agreement composing differences

6 : payment or adjustment of an account

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Examples of settlement in a Sentence

I got the house in the divorce settlement. The parties have not been able to reach a settlement in the case. We were hoping for a quick settlement of the dispute between the neighbors. English settlements in North America. This was the island's first colonial settlement. They came upon the ruins of an ancient settlement.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Although the case continued over patent infringements, the two reached a settlement in December. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "The Fitbit and Jawbone trade secrets mess has been revived," 15 June 2018 Last year, Becerra reached a separate, $51 million settlement with Aequitas Capital Management, the other major company holding private loans for former Corinthian students. Nanette Asimov,, "Students of defunct Corinthian Colleges to get millions in loan refunds," 14 June 2018 American Media’s lawyers wrote in an April legal brief before the settlement was reached. WSJ, "Ex-Playmate Alleging Trump Affair to Get Men’s Journal Cover," 27 June 2018 The settlement was reached before a Philadelphia mediator, retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh of JAMS, a mediation service. Julie Shaw,, "U-Haul to pay $160M in Feltonville food-truck blast that killed 2," 27 June 2018 The resolution proposed to the City Commission would give the city attorney and city manager permission to enter a settlement agreement, if passed. Meryl Kornfield,, "Hallandale may settle wrongful death suit after fatal SWAT raid," 20 June 2018 The bill would overturn a settlement agreement that children cannot be detained more than three weeks so that families are kept together, but doing so would allow entire families to be detained indefinitely. Tal Kopan And Lauren Fox, CNN, "Republicans unveil DACA citizenship-border wall compromise bill," 14 June 2018 In 2015, a federal judge ruled that Wells Fargo had not complied with the settlement agreement, which included offering loan modifications for borrowers with financial hardships who had defaulted or were near default. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "To bank, it’s a debt cleared up; to woman, it’s a home lost," 7 June 2018 Though the settlement is not yet finalized, the agreement — made by lawyers on behalf of 332 of the victims — was approved Tuesday by the university’s trustees. Elizabeth Kiefer, Glamour, "Michigan State to Pay $500 Million in Settlements to Larry Nassar Abuse Victims," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'settlement.' 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 settlement

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to settlement

out-of-court settlement

Statistics for settlement

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for settlement

The first known use of settlement was in 1648

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More Definitions for settlement



English Language Learners Definition of settlement

: a formal agreement or decision that ends an argument or dispute; also : an amount of money that someone receives as part of such an agreement

: the act or process of settling an argument or disagreement

: the act of paying back money that is owed


set·tle·ment | \ˈse-tᵊl-mənt \

Kids Definition of settlement

1 : a formal agreement that ends an argument or dispute

2 : final payment (as of a bill)

3 : the act or fact of establishing colonies the settlement of New England

4 : a place or region newly settled

5 : a small village



Legal Definition of settlement 

1 : the act or process of settling

2a : an agreement reducing or resolving differences especially : an agreement between litigants that concludes the litigation the states finally agreed upon a settlement and a consent decree — W. J. Brennan, Jr. entered into a property settlement prior to the divorce

b : a formal and permanent grant or conveyance

c : the sum, estate, or income granted or paid under a settlement if the monetary limits of a defendant's insurance policy can be discovered in order to obtain reasonable settlements— J. H. Friedenthal et al.

3 : closing settlement costs

4 : the transfer of funds between a payor bank and a collecting bank in order to complete transactions for customers

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Comments on settlement

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