set·​tle·​ment | \ ˈse-tᵊl-mənt How to pronounce settlement (audio) \

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 The parties agreed to a settlement in which the department agreed to enhanced measures to ensure the safety of inmates from face masks for inmates, to increased cleaning of facilities. Nicholas Rondinone,, "COVID-19 cases, deaths rise in Connecticut prisons; DOC brings on additional health care workers, increases testing," 25 Dec. 2020 Sackler family members agreed to a $225 million civil settlement with the Justice Department at the same time, without admitting any liability. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Sackler Family Debated Lawsuit Risk While Taking Billions From Purdue," 23 Dec. 2020 Purdue also agreed to an $8.3 billion settlement that would establish the private company as a public trust corporation, federal officials announced in October. Washington Post, "Newly unsealed court documents reveal Sackler family’s early concerns over lawsuits," 22 Dec. 2020 Without admitting guilt, the Navient agreed to a small financial settlement with 10 borrowers. Michael Taylor,, "Taylor: Past attempts at forgiving student loans have fallen short," 16 Dec. 2020 The litigation is a sequel of sorts to the state's landmark $6.5 billion settlement with the tobacco industry two decades ago. Stephen Montemayor, Star Tribune, "Minnesota adds tobacco giant Altria to ongoing suit against Juul Labs," 10 Dec. 2020 In 2009, Byrne and Cohodes agreed to a settlement of their case in which Copper River paid Overstock five million dollars. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "A Tycoon’s Deep-State Conspiracy Dive," 7 Dec. 2020 Built in 1892, the church is home to the oldest congregation of the Collegiate Churches of New York, which date to the Dutch settlement of the island in the 1620s, according to the church's website. Fox News, "Condition of NYC's Liberty Bell unclear after fire guts historic church," 6 Dec. 2020 Hughes, at one point, referenced a confidentiality agreement attached to a settlement involving this issue. William Thornton |, al, "Lee County DA paid settlement following sex discrimination claim: testimony," 4 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for settlement

Time Traveler

The first known use of settlement was in 1648

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Statistics for settlement

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Settlement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for settlement


How to pronounce settlement (audio)

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 How to pronounce settlement (audio) \

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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