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

California federal court still has to approve the settlement before the payments can be granted. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Yahoo must pay $50 million in damages for data breaches," 24 Oct. 2018 Diana was allowed to keep her jewelry as part of the settlement, but as the tiara was on loan from the Queen, it was given back—and reportedly put into a safe at Buckingham Palace. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Stunning Lover's Knot Tiara Has a Fascinating Royal History," 23 Oct. 2018 The Duchess of York also didn't want to be paid out by the royal family as a part of the divorce settlement. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Who Are Princess Eugenie's Parents, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew?," 12 Oct. 2018 Judge Robert Kressel approved the $210 million settlement Tuesday. Fox News, "Bankruptcy court OKs settlement for clergy sex abuse victims," 25 Sep. 2018 Lawyers representing over 4,500 Uber drivers who claim they were consistently underpaid by the company have now asked a federal judge to approve a settlement. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Thousands of Uber drivers set to get $75, before lawyers’ fees, in settlement," 26 Aug. 2018 The City Council approved the settlement unanimously Tuesday without discussion. Kimberly Veklerov,, "Oakland to pay $2.2 million to settle ex-Black Panther’s claim," 12 July 2018 The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, by a 4-1 vote, approved a settlement between Aqua and the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, which had challenged the PUC’s initial approval of the sale. Andrew Maykuth,, "Pa. approves Aqua's contentious $75M sewer system acquisition," 12 July 2018 Florida’s Public Service Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a settlement between Florida Power & Light Co. and the Office of Public Counsel for a $27.7 million refund to customers relating to 2016’s Hurricane Matthew restoration costs. Marcia Heroux Pounds,, "$28 million refund to FPL customers is approved," 10 July 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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Statistics for settlement

Last Updated

1 Dec 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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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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