Definition of commutation in English:

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Pronunciation: /kɒmjʊˈteɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1The action or process of commuting a judicial sentence: a commutation of her sentence
More example sentences
  • Jones then applied to the State Board of Pardons and Parole for commutation of the sentence to life imprisonment, which was denied.
  • The death penalty may only be imposed for the most serious crimes with sentenced persons enjoying the right to seek a pardon or other commutation of the sentence.
  • A similar provision covers the issue of pardon or commutation of sentence.
1.1The conversion of a legal obligation or entitlement into another form, e.g. the replacement of an annuity or series of payments by a single payment: the commutation of dues into money rents making a one-off lump sum in commutation of your pension rights
More example sentences
  • Each policy shall be endorsed stating that it cannot be assigned or surrendered and showing in monetary terms the extent to which benefits may be taken as a single cash payment as commutation or on death.
  • From their own pocket and without any access to commutation or pension entitlements.
  • Prior to this amendment the tax treatment of lump sum payments from pension funds such as the commutation of one-third of the total value of retirement benefits was based on interpretation of the legislation.
2The process of commutating an electric current.
Example sentences
  • A main switching element is provided to turn ON and OFF an input voltage, and a synchronous commutating switching element is provided to perform synchronous commutation of a load current.
  • With a 17-mm diam and lengths of 17 or 24 mm, a series of motors has high efficiency and long life, due to a precious metal commutation and neodymium magnets.
  • Very many DC motors (brush-type) have built-in commutation, meaning that as the motor rotates, mechanical brushes automatically commutate coils on the rotor.
3 Mathematics The property of having a commutative relation.
Example sentences
  • This discussion has not covered commutation of the construction stages, another important property of the PDN-theorem.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'exchange, barter', later 'alteration'): from Latin commutatio(n-), from commutare 'exchange, interchange' (see commute). sense 1 dates from the late 16th century.

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Line breaks: com¦mu|ta¦tion

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