Definition of commutation in English:


Syllabification: com·mu·ta·tion
Pronunciation: /ˌkämyəˈtāSHən


  • 1Action or the process of commuting a judicial sentence.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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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