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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The settlement is open to U.S. residents who purchased Johnson & Johnson Infants’ Tylenol between Oct. 3, 2014 and Jan. 6, 2020. Leada Gore |, al, "Bought Infant Tylenol in past 5 years? You may be eligible for part of $6.3 million settlement," 10 Jan. 2020 Sentara’s settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was one of the largest the agency sought to collect in 2019, The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday. Washington Post, "Health care group pays $2.17M after releasing patients’ info," 9 Jan. 2020 The settlement is a victory for working women, said Trish Nelson, a longtime server who said she was frequently harassed by Mr. Friedman and his guests. New York Times, "Ken Friedman of the Spotted Pig Will Pay $240,000 in Sexual Harassment Case," 7 Jan. 2020 Fieger added that the settlement is the largest ever paid by the Michigan State Police Department for a single incident., "The family of the teenager, Damon Grimes, will receive $7.8 million from the settlement, and family lawyers will receive about $4 million, according to court documents.," 1 Jan. 2020 White settlement is a city of about 17,000 people in Tarrant County. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Two dead, one critically wounded when gunman opens fire at church outside Fort Worth, Texas," 29 Dec. 2019 Ideally, the nearby factory town would stop encroaching on the Forest Spirit’s sacred territory, but the settlement itself is a radical feminist experiment run by women. Nick Romano,, "Studio Ghibli: A beginner's guide through the worlds of Spirited Away, Mononoke, and beyond," 24 Dec. 2019 The Buffalo Lake settlement is one of eight in Alberta created to give land to the landless Métis. National Geographic, "What are the best unpublished photos of 2019?," 20 Dec. 2019 The settlement was the culmination of a case the EPA had opened in 2010. Gordon Russell, ProPublica, "In “Cancer Alley,” Toxic Polluters Face Little Oversight From Environmental Regulators," 19 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of settlement

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about settlement

Time Traveler for settlement

Time Traveler

The first known use of settlement was in 1648

See more words from the same year

Statistics for settlement

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Settlement.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on settlement

What made you want to look up settlement? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!