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

Donovan noted the skyrocketing costs for the city linked to police misconduct settlements. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Common Council approves $3.4 million settlement in ACLU stop-and-frisk lawsuit," 10 July 2018 Companies, including 7-Eleven, have already agreed to large settlements in the case. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Coffee Doesn't Cause Cancer After All, Says California Health Regulator," 16 June 2018 The Palestinians have long objected to the settlements — accusing Israel of gobbling up their land to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. Washington Post, "Palestinian plea to ICC could speed up war crime probe," 22 May 2018 Hamas’s best line of attack against its Palestinian rivals is that 25 years of peace negotiations have only led to more Israeli settlements and to political losses like the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Daniel Byman, Vox, "Trump and Obama both ignored Gaza — at great cost," 15 May 2018 Berg raised concerns about commissioners' decisions, such as the Dynamis mess, that wasted money or led to costly legal settlements against the county. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "Ullman, Lachiondo win Ada commissioner races | Idaho Statesman," 15 May 2018 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

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

20 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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