amnesty

[am-nuh-stee]

noun, plural am·nes·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·nes·tied, am·nes·ty·ing.

to grant amnesty to; pardon.

Nearby words

  1. amnesiac,
  2. amnesic,
  3. amnestic,
  4. amnestic aphasia,
  5. amnestic syndrome,
  6. amnesty international,
  7. amnio,
  8. amnio-,
  9. amniocentesis,
  10. amniochorial

Origin of amnesty

1570–80; (< Middle French amnestie) < Greek amnēstía oblivion, equivalent to ámnēst(os) forgetting (a- a-6 + mnēs- remember + -tos verbal adjective suffix) + -ia -y3

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for amnesty


British Dictionary definitions for amnesty

amnesty

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 amnēstia, from Greek: oblivion, from amnēstos forgetting, from a- 1 + -mnēstos, from mnasthai to remember

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for amnesty

amnesty

n.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper