[ am-nuh-stee ]
/ 藞忙m n蓹 sti /
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See synonyms for: amnesty / amnestied / amnestying on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural am路nes路ties.
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.
verb (used with object), am路nes路tied, am路nes路ty路ing.
to grant amnesty to; pardon.
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Origin of amnesty

First recorded in 1570鈥80; from Middle French amnestie, or directly from Latin amn膿stia, from Greek amn膿st铆a 鈥渙blivion,鈥 equivalent to 谩mn膿st(os) 鈥渇orgetting鈥 (from a- negative prefix + mn膿s- 鈥渞emember鈥 + -tos verbal adjective suffix) + -ia noun suffix; see a-6, -y3

synonym study for amnesty

1. See pardon.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does amnesty mean?

Amnesty is a pardon for offenses against a government, especially before a trial or conviction for those offenses.

Amnesty also means an overlooking of past offenses.

In law, amnesty refers to an act of forgiveness for past offenses, often issued to a class of people.

An amnesty is a pardon for criminal offenses. However, a pardon can only be given after someone is judged guilty. Amnesty can be given before a judgment is made.

Amnesty often also refers to the process of allowing undocumented immigrants stay in the country rather than be deported.

Sometimes, an amnesty is named after the thing being forgiven. For example, an amnesty that says as long as you give in your illegal guns to the government you won鈥檛 be prosecuted for illegal ownership would be called a gun amnesty or firearm amnesty.

Example: The government offered an amnesty for anyone owning an illegal weapon if they handed the weapon in before the deadline.

Where does amnesty come from?

The first records of the term amnesty come from around the 1570s. It ultimately comes from the Greek word amn膿st铆a, meaning 鈥渙blivion.鈥

Did you know 鈥 ?

What are some synonyms for amnesty?

What are some words that share a root or word element with amnesty?

What are some words that often get used in discussing amnesty?

How is amnesty used in real life?

Amnesty is generally used to describe pardons for criminal offenses, but you鈥檒l see it in the name of the charitable organization Amnesty International.



Try using amnesty!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of amnesty?

A. pardon
B. immunity
C. reprieve
D. blame

How to use amnesty in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for amnesty

/ (藞忙mn瑟st瑟) /

noun plural -ties
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
verb -ties, -tying or -tied
(tr) to overlook or forget (an offence)

Word Origin for amnesty

C16: from Latin amn膿stia, from Greek: oblivion, from amn膿stos forgetting, from a- 1 + -mn膿stos, from mnasthai to remember
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012