Other forms: amnestied; amnesties

Amnesty can mean a pardon for a wrongdoing, or it can also signal a government's willingness to overlook something.

Amnesty sounds a little like "amnesia," and that's because in its more specific sense amnesty means "forgetting." The government will essentially forget about whatever crime was committed, or whatever horrible things were said. As part of a truce, amnesty can be granted to opposition forces in civil disputes. Amnesty to illegal aliens means the government will deliberately overlook their illegal entry to the country. There can also be a period of amnesty when people can turn in something that they would otherwise get in trouble for. "The city offered a period of amnesty for everyone to turn in illegal guns."

Definitions of amnesty
  1. noun
    a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense
    synonyms: pardon
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    type of:
    a writ from a court commanding police to perform specified acts
  2. noun
    the formal act of liberating someone
    synonyms: free pardon, pardon
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    type of:
    clemency, mercifulness, mercy
    leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice
  3. noun
    a period during which offenders are exempt from punishment
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    type of:
    exemption, freedom
    immunity from an obligation or duty
  4. verb
    grant a pardon to (a group of people)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    grant a pardon to




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