Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To travel as a commuter.
  • intransitive verb To make substitution or exchange.
  • intransitive verb To serve as a substitute.
  • intransitive verb To pay in gross, usually at a reduced rate, rather than in individual payments.
  • intransitive verb Mathematics & Logic To satisfy a commutative property. If a × b = b × a, then a commutes with b, regardless of whether the operation indicated by × is commutative.
  • intransitive verb To substitute (one thing for another); exchange.
  • intransitive verb To change (a penalty, debt, or payment) to a less severe one.
  • noun An act or instance of commuting, especially the trip made by a commuter.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To exchange; put in the place of another (thing or person); give or receive for another; substitute another thing for.
  • Specifically— To exchange one penalty or punishment for another of less severity.
  • To substitute one sort of burden for another; especially, to substitute money payment for payment in kind or the performance of a compulsory duty: as, to commute tithes.
  • In electricity, to regulate (the direction of an electrical current) as by a commutator.
  • To serve as a substitute.
  • To pay in money instead of in kind or in duty.
  • To pay a single sum as an equivalent for a number of successive payments; specifically, to purchase and use a commutation-ticket.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To obtain or bargain for exemption or substitution; to effect a commutation.
  • intransitive verb To pay, or arrange to pay, in gross instead of part by part.
  • intransitive verb to travel regularly from a place of residence to another place, such as where one's daily work is performed. Often, such travel is performed between a suburb and a nearby city.
  • transitive verb To exchange; to put or substitute something else in place of, as a smaller penalty, obligation, or payment, for a greater, or a single thing for an aggregate; hence, to lessen; to diminish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To regularly travel from one's home to one's workplace, or vice versa.
  • verb transitive, finance To pay out the lump-sum present value of an annuity, instead of paying in instalments.
  • verb intransitive To pay, or arrange to pay, in gross instead of part by part.
  • verb transitive, law, criminology To reduce the sentence previously given for a criminal offense.
  • verb intransitive To obtain or bargain for exemption or substitution; to effect a commutation.
  • verb intransitive, mathematics To engage in a commutative operation.
  • noun The route one takes to travel to a workplace or back.
  • noun The distance of that route.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb exchange positions without a change in value
  • verb exchange a penalty for a less severe one
  • verb change the order or arrangement of
  • verb exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category
  • noun a regular journey of some distance to and from your place of work
  • verb travel back and forth regularly, as between one's place of work and home

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English commuten, to transform, from Latin commūtāre : com-, com- + mūtāre, to change; see mei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin commūtō

Examples

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