- a general pardon for offenses, especially political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.
- Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, especially to a class of persons as a whole.
- a forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.
- to grant amnesty to; pardon.
Origin of amnesty
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for amnesty
Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders cannot be accessed without a virtual private network.China’s Internet Is Freer Than You Think
December 27, 2014
He made clear that he was happy with “90 percent of it” but that he could never support “amnesty.”Quirky Reindeer Farmer Keeps Government Open for Christmas
December 11, 2014
Along with amnesty, our borders were to be secured once and for all.The Liberal Case Against Illegal Immigration
November 25, 2014
Herein lies the great dilemma then for the advocates of amnesty.Legal but Still Poor: The Economic Consequences of Amnesty
November 21, 2014
The immigrants got their amnesty and the United States got 12 million to 20 million more undocumented immigrants.Didn't Obama Hear Oregon’s Warning Shot on Immigration?
November 14, 2014
It's a thieves' amnesty at this moment, and I must not lose the opportunity.Maurice Tiernay Soldier of Fortune
Charles James Lever
Amnesty was extended to those who wished it and deserved it.The Story of the Outlaw
Then big Jenkins reached his hand out to Forsythe—but not in token of amnesty.The Wreck of the Titan
After the blessing, the amnesty I have promised will be read.The Hour and the Man
I believe this act of amnesty is only a device to put the plotters where he can get his hand on them.The White Mice
Richard Harding Davis
- a general pardon, esp for offences against a government
- a period during which a law is suspended to allow offenders to admit their crime without fear of prosecution
- law a pardon granted by the Crown or Executive and effected by statute
- (tr) to overlook or forget (an offence)
Word Origin and History for amnesty
"pardon of past offenses," 1570s, from French amnestie "intentional overlooking," from Latin amnestia, from Greek amnestia "forgetfulness (of wrong); an amnesty," from a-, privative prefix, "not" (see a- (3)), + mnestis "remembrance," related to mnaomai "I remember" (see mind (n.)). As a verb, from 1809. Amnesty International founded 1961 as Appeal for Amnesty. The name was changed 1963.