[ ri-mish-uhn ]
/ rɪˈmɪʃ ən /
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the act of remitting.
pardon; forgiveness, as of sins or offenses.
abatement or diminution, as of diligence, labor, intensity, etc.
the relinquishment of a payment, obligation, etc.
  1. a temporary or permanent decrease or subsidence of manifestations of a disease.
  2. a period during which such a decrease or subsidence occurs: The patient's leukemia was in remission.
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Origin of remission

1175–1225; Middle English <Old French <Latin remissiōn- (stem of remissiō). See remiss, -ion


non·re·mis·sion, noun


remission , remittance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is remission?

In medicine, remission refers to a temporary or permanent decrease in the symptoms of a disease.

Remission also refers to a release from a penalty or obligation, as in Fang was relieved when the bank gave him remission for the late fees on his car loan.

Remission can also refer to the forgiveness of sin, as in The remission of sin is granted by the Church.

Example: After four years of fighting cancer, I finally entered remission last week.

Where does remission come from?

The first records of the term remission come from around 1175. It ultimately comes from the Latin remissiō. It combines the word remiss, which means “characterized by negligence or carelessness,” and the suffix ion, which is used to create nouns from adjectives, as with communion and union.

Remission is most often used in the medical sense. In addition to referring to a decrease in symptoms, it can also refer to the time period in which the patient has fewer or less-severe symptoms, as in I was in remission for five months.

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What are some other forms related to remission?

  • nonremission (noun)

What are some synonyms for remission?

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

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

How is remission used in real life?

Remission is often used in the context of a disease whose progress has been decreased.



Try using remission!

True or False?

When a disease is in remission, the symptoms are getting worse.

How to use remission in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for remission


less commonly remittal (rɪˈmɪtəl)

/ (rɪˈmɪʃən) /

the act of remitting or state of being remitted
a reduction of the term of a sentence of imprisonment, as for good conducthe got three years' remission
forgiveness for sin
discharge or release from penalty, obligation, etc
lessening of intensity; abatement, as in the severity of symptoms of a disease

Derived forms of remission

remissive, adjectiveremissively, adverb
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

Scientific definitions for remission

[ rĭ-mĭshən ]

Abatement or subsiding of the symptoms of a disease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for remission


A period in the course of a disease when symptoms become less severe.

notes for remission

The term remission is often used in speaking of sufferers from leukemia or other cancers whose symptoms lessen or disappear. In such a case, the disease is said to be “in remission.” The period of remission may last only briefly or may extend over several months or years.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.