American Dictionary of the English Language

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COMMUTE, verb transitive

1. To exchange; to put one thing in the place of another; to give or receive one thing for another; as, to commute our labors; to commute pain for pleasure.

2. In law, to exchange one penalty or punishment for another of less severity; as, to commute death for transportation.

COMMUTE, verb intransitive To atone; to compensate; to stand in the place of; as, one penalty commutes for another.