- to change (a prison sentence or other penalty) to a less severe one: The death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
- to exchange for another or for something else; give and take reciprocally; interchange.
- to change: to commute base metal into gold.
- to change (one kind of payment) into or for another, as by substitution.
- to travel regularly over some distance, as from a suburb into a city and back: He commutes to work by train.
- to make substitution.
- to serve as a substitute.
- to make a collective payment, especially of a reduced amount, as an equivalent for a number of payments.
- Mathematics. to give the same result whether operating on the left or on the right.
- a trip made by commuting: It's a long commute from his home to his office.
- an act or instance of commuting.
Origin of commute
Related Words for commutedshorten, drive, mitigate, modify, remit, soften, decrease, alleviate, curtail, transmute, interchange, convert, barter, transfer, transpose, transform, metamorphose, switch, transmogrify, transfigure
Examples from the Web for commuted
Contemporary Examples of commuted
After 15 years on Death Row, that was commuted to two life sentences.Did Pablo Escobar Frame a Millionaire for Murdering Banana-Shipping Money Launderers?
November 11, 2014
He was standing in front of the firing squad when his sentence was commuted to exile in Siberia.Russian History Is on Our Side: Putin Will Surely Screw Himself
P. J. O’Rourke
May 11, 2014
In March, Youssef condemned 529 people to death, although most of those sentences subsequently were commuted to life in prison.The Hanging Judge of Minya, Egypt, Sentences Hundreds to Death
April 28, 2014
A federal appeals court agreed, and commuted his sentence to life in prison.Conservatives Shoot Down Obama Nominee with ‘Willie Horton’ Tactics
March 5, 2014
One whole shade of opinion, opposed to the death penalty, argued that his sentence should be commuted to life.India’s Twisted Conscience on Terrorism
February 16, 2013
Historical Examples of commuted
His sentence to be shot was commuted to imprisonment for life.Roland Cashel
Charles James Lever
The sentence was, however, commuted to transportation for life.Old Times at Otterbourne
Charlotte M. Yonge
On other estates the serfs' compulsory labor was commuted for a quitrent.War and Peace
Then, will you give me a paper stating that his sentence is commuted?Roger Willoughby
William H. G. Kingston
His sentence was, however, commuted by the Governor to imprisonment for life.Venus in Boston;
- (intr) to travel some distance regularly between one's home and one's place of work
- (tr) to substitute; exchange
- (tr) law to reduce (a sentence) to one less severe
- to pay (an annuity) at one time, esp with a discount, instead of in instalments
- (tr) to transform; changeto commute base metal into gold
- (intr) to act as or be a substitute
- (intr) to make a substitution; change
- a journey made by commuting
Word Origin for commute
mid-15c., "to change, transform," from Latin commutare "to often change, to change altogether," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + mutare "to change" (see mutable). Sense of "make less severe" is 1630s. Sense of "go back and forth to work" is 1889, from commutation ticket "season pass" (on a railroad, streetcar line, etc.), from commute in its sense of "to change one kind of payment into another" (1795), especially "to combine a number of payments into a single one." Related: Commuted; commuting.
- To yield the same result regardless of order. For example, numbers commute under addition, which is a commutative operation. Generally, any two operators H and G commute if their commutator is zero, i.e. HG - GH = 0.