[ res-ti-too-shuhn, -tyoo- ]
/ ˌrɛs tɪˈtu ʃən, -ˈtyu- /
Save This Word!

reparation made by giving an equivalent or compensation for loss, damage, or injury caused; indemnification.
the restoration of property or rights previously taken away, conveyed, or surrendered.
restoration to the former or original state or position.
Physics. the return to an original physical condition, especially after elastic deformation.
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of restitution

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English restitucioun, from Old French restitution, restitucion, from Latin restitūtiōn- (stem of restitūtiō) “a rebuilding, restoration,” equivalent to restitūt(us) + -iōn-.See restitute, -ion

synonym study for restitution

1. See redress.

OTHER WORDS FROM restitution

res·ti·tu·tive, res·ti·tu·to·ry [res-ti-too-tuh-ree, -tyoo-], /ˌrɛs tɪˈtu tə ri, -ˈtyu-/, adjectivenon·res·ti·tu·tion, nounun·res·ti·tu·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does restitution mean?

Restitution is payment or some other form of compensation that is given to make up for loss, damage, or injury that has been caused.

Restitution can also refer to the act or process of compensating someone in this way.

The point of restitution is to return what has been lost or stolen or to repair the damage or injury that has been done so that things can be returned to how they originally were or as close as possible.

The word is especially used in a legal context to refer to compensation that is required by someone who has caused loss, damage, or injury as part of a crime. Restitution often involves monetary payments, but it can involve other forms of compensation.

Example: The defendant was ordered to pay $1 million dollars in restitution to compensate for injuries and property damage. 

Where does restitution come from?

The first records of the word restitution come from the 1300s. It comes from the Latin verb rēstituere, meaning “to rebuild.”

Some injuries and damage can’t be undone, but the goal of restitution is to try to return things to their original state as much as is possible. When someone is ordered to pay restitution by a court, it often includes payment not only to the victim but also to the state, such as for court costs.

The word reparations is sometimes used interchangeably with restitution and refers to forms of restitution or compensation provided to those who have suffered wrongdoing or to their descendents. The word reparations is sometimes thought to be inappropriate for the type of compensation sought by some groups, who may consider it a payment of an existing debt, rather than a form of restitution.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to restitution?

  • restitutive (adjective)
  • restitutory (adjective)
  • restitute (verb)

What are some synonyms for restitution?

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

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

How is restitution used in real life?

Restitution is most commonly used in a legal context that involves someone being ordered to compensate someone else for loss, damage, or injury.

Try using restitution!

Which of the following words is a synonym of restitution?

A. redress
B. repayment
C. compensation
D. all of the above

How to use restitution in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for restitution

/ (ˌrɛstɪˈtjuːʃən) /

the act of giving back something that has been lost or stolen
law the act of compensating for loss or injury by reverting as far as possible to the position before such injury occurred
the return of an object or system to its original state, esp a restoration of shape after elastic deformation

Derived forms of restitution

restitutive or restitutory, adjective

Word Origin for restitution

C13: from Latin rēstitūtiō, from rēstituere to rebuild, from re- + statuere to set up
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