In law, a commutation is the reduction of a punishment for a crime. After getting a commutation, an incarcerated person's original sentence of ten years in prison might be reduced to five years.

A commutation is different from a pardon, which eliminates the actual conviction. With a commutation, that record of conviction stays the same, but the punishment is reduced or even eliminated. A judge might issue a commutation after someone has expressed remorse or exhibited model behavior while being incarcerated. Commutation comes from a Latin root that means "to change."

Definitions of commutation
  1. noun
    the act of putting one thing or person in the place of another: "he sent Smith in for Jones but the substitution came too late to help"
    synonyms: exchange, substitution
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    replacement, replacing
    the act of furnishing an equivalent person or thing in the place of another
    (law) the act of substituting of one creditor for another
    ablactation, weaning
    the act of substituting other food for the mother's milk in the diet of a child or young mammal
    (law) the replacement of one obligation by another by mutual agreement of both parties; usually the replacement of one of the original parties to a contract with the consent of the remaining party
    pitching change
    replacing a pitcher in baseball
    supersedure, supersession
    act of replacing one person or thing by another especially one held to be superior
    displacement, supplanting
    act of taking the place of another especially using underhanded tactics
    type of:
    the action of changing something
  2. noun
    (law) the reduction in severity of a punishment imposed by law
    synonyms: re-sentencing
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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 warrant substituting a lesser punishment for a greater one
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    type of:
    a writ from a court commanding police to perform specified acts
  4. noun
    the travel of a commuter
    synonyms: commuting
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    type of:
    travel, traveling, travelling
    the act of going from one place to another
Word Family

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