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See also: rémission


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English remissioun (release from duty; freeing of captives; mercy, pardon, respite; forgiveness; release from or reduction of penances; reduction in intensity (of a quality, symptom, etc.); transfer of property, quitclaim; legal opinion or submission; reference, cross-reference) [and other forms],[1] from Anglo-Norman remission, remissione, remissioun, remissiun and Middle French, Old French remission (forgiveness of sin; pardoning of an offence; postponement; cessation, suspension; diminishing or weakening of something; reduction of debt; reduction in intensity of a disease or symptom) (modern French rémission), and their etymon Late Latin remissiō (forgiveness; pardon of sins), Latin remissiō (release; sending back; easing off, relaxing, softening; reduction of debt; reduction in intensity of a disease or symptom), from remittō (to remit, send back; to diminish; to relax; to do without, forego) + -siō.[2] Remittō is derived from re- (prefix meaning ‘back, backwards’) + mittō (to cause to go; to send; to discharge, emit, let go, release; to throw; to extend, reach out; to announce, tell; to produce, yield; to attend, escort, guide; to dismiss, disregard; to end) (possibly ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *meyth₂- (to change, exchange; to change places, go past) or *(s)meyt- (to throw)).

The English word is cognate with Catalan remissió, Italian remissioni, remissione (remission; withdrawal of legal action; compliance, submission), Old Occitan remessió, Portuguese remisson, remissão (pardon; remission), Spanish remisión (remission).[2]



remission (countable and uncountable, plural remissions)

  1. A pardon of a sin; (chiefly historical, also figuratively) the forgiveness of an offence, or relinquishment of a (legal) claim or a debt.
    Synonym: acceptilation
    Antonym: irremission
    • 1543 June 8, Henry VIII of England, “The Nynthe Article. The Holy Catholike Churche.”, in A Necessary Doctrine and Erudicion for Any Chrysten Man, Set furth by the Kynges Maiestye of Englande, &c., imprinted at London:  [] by Thomas Berthelet, [], →OCLC:
      Moreouer the perfit beleue of this article, worketh in all true chriſten people, aloue to continue in this vnitie, and afeare to be caſte out of the ſame, and it worketh in them that be ſinners and repentant, great comforte, and conſolacion, to obteine remiſſion of ſinne, by vertue of Chriſtes paſſion, and adminiſtracion of his ſacramentes at the miniſters handes, ordained for that purpoſe, []
    • 1617, Zacharias Ursinus, “Quest. 56. What Belieuest Thou Concerning Remission of Sinnes?”, in Henrie Parrie [i.e., Henry Parry] and David Pareus, transl., The Svmme of Christian Religion, Deliuered by Zacharias Vrsinvs in His Lectures vpon the Catechisme, [] Translated into English [], London: Imprinted by H. L. and are to be sold by Arthur Iohnson, [], →OCLC, section 6 (To Whom Remission of Sinnes is Giuen), page 614:
      Remiſsion of ſins is giuen to all the elect, and them alone, becauſe it is giuen to them all and alone who beleeue; and none beleeue, but the elect onely; for the reprobate neuer haue true faith and beleefe: therefore they neuer obtaine remiſsion of their ſinnes.
    • 1712, Tho[mas] Brett, The Doctrine of Remission of Sins, and the Power of Absolution, [], London: Printed for John Wyat, [], →OCLC, pages 41–42:
      So then it is not the Power of preaching and baptizing, which is here given the Apoſtles, but as the Fathers interpret the Place, a peculiar Power of pronouncing, as God's deputed Judges, Pardon and Remiſſion to the Penitent, a Power of abſolving from Sins, in the Name of God, all ſuch as penitently confeſs unto them: []
    • 1784 August 4, William Pitt the Younger, “Debate in the Commons on the Bill for Settling the East India Company’s Dividends, &c.”, in [William Cobbett], editor, The Parliamentary History of England, from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803. [], volume XXIV, London: Printed by T[homas] C[urson] Hansard, [] for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown; [et al.], published 1815, →OCLC, column 1327:
      And as to the remission of the interest of the debt of the Company, the right hon. gentleman knew, that public policy and expediency rendered a remission of the interests of all the debts due to the public equally necessary.
    • 1813 April 12, “Chap. CXIX.—(R.L.): An Act Concerning Quit Rents.”, in William P[eter] Van Ness and John Woodworth, editors, Laws of the State of New-York, Revised and Passed at the Thirty-sixth Session of the Legislature, [] In Two Volumes, volume I, Albany, N.Y.: Printed and published by H. C. Southwick & Co. [], →OCLC, section VIII, page 179:
      And it be further enacted, That if it shall appear to the comptroller that any payments of quit rents or certificates given for the remission of quit rent in pursuance of any former law of the state shall have been credited by mistake to the wrong patent or lot, [] it shall be the duty of the comptroller on discovering the same, to rectify all such mistakes []
    • 2013 April, “Background and Strategy”, in Fee Remissions for the Courts and Tribunals (Consultation Paper; CP15/2013; Cm 8608), London: Ministry of Justice, →ISBN, paragraph 1, page 6:
      The remission system ensures that access to justice is maintained for those individuals on lower incomes who would otherwise have difficulty paying a fee to use court or tribunal services. [] A fee remission is a full or partial fee waiver of the fees that become payable when an individual uses these services.
  2. A lessening of amount due, as in either money or work, or intensity of a thing.
    • 1790, J. W. Parsons, “Constitutional Culture”, in Hints on Producing Genius, Worcester, Worcestershire: Printed by J. Tymbs, []; and sold by T[homas] Cadell, [], →OCLC, pages 103–104:
      Preceptors have all aſſented to this one principle,—that diſcipline , and amuſement ſhould alternately ſucceed each other. [] You may relax your care, but the youthful mind will be full occupied, and more earneſtly buſied in the career of voluntary play, than on any impoſed taſk. During the remiſſions of ſchool the mind is only tranſferred from one object to another: []
    • 1822 May 24, Nicholas Vansittart, 1st Baron Bexley (Chancellor of the Exchequer), “Naval and Military Pensions”, in T[homas] C[urson] Hansard, editor, The Parliamentary Debates: [] (House of Commons), volume VII (New Series), London: Printed by T. C. Hansard, []; for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy; [et al.], published 1823, →OCLC, column 743:
      His objection, at an early period of the session, to the motion of the hon. member for Wareham, besides the general objection at that time to the remission of any taxes, was, that it would throw the trade into confusion by a partial remission. The remission he had now to propose was to a much greater extent.
    • 1836 February, “Internal Machinery of the Indian Government—Case of Mr. Imlach”, in Alexander’s East India and Colonial Magazine, volume XI, number 63, London: R. Alexander, []; sold by Sherwood and Co., and Simpkin and Marshall, [], →OCLC, page 99:
      This gentleman in March, 1833, was applied to by Messrs. Charles and George Palmer, who solicited a remission of the annual jumma or tax upon their farms, to the amount of 24,000 rupees. Mr. [Alexander] Imlach, who, [] was at least acquainted with, and acted up to the spirit of the law, expressed his incompetency to grant the remission.
    • 1837, Chauncey A[llen] Goodrich, “Accents”, in Elements of Greek Grammar. [<span title=" [] Used in Yale College. Heretofore Published as the Grammar of Caspar Frederic Hachenberg.">…], stereotype edition, Hartford, Conn.: Belknap & Hamersley, →OCLC, page 211:
      In every polysyllabic word, there is a sharpened percussion of the voice on some one of the syllables, and a comparative remission on the rest. This percussion was called by the Greeks the acute accent, and the remission, the grave accent.
    1. (law) A reduction or cancellation of the penalty for a criminal offence; in particular, the reduction of a prison sentence as a recognition of the prisoner's good behaviour.
      Synonym: remitment
      • 1684, “314. The Trial of Robert Baillie, of Jerviswood, in Scotland, for High Treason: 36 Charles II. a.d. 1684”, in Cobbett’s Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanors from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, volume X (A.D. 1680–1685), London: Printed by T[homas] C[urson] Hansard, []; for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Co.; [et al.], published 1811, →OCLC, column 693:
        That Mr. Carstairs answer all interrogatories that shall be put to him, betwixt and the first of October next, upon his great oath. That which being done, he shall have his majesty's full pardon and remission, for his life, limb, estate, and fame.
      • 1767 February 24, William Maxwell Morison, “[Proof.] Macharg against Campbell.”, in The Decisions of the Court of Session, from Its Institution until the Separation of the Court into Two Divisions in the Year 1808, Digested under Proper Heads, in the Form of a Dictionary. [], volume XXIX–XXX, Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Company, published 1811, →OCLC, division III (Public Instrument, How Far Probative), section IV (Decrees, Acts of Court, &c.), case no. 429, page 12543:
        At common law, the criminal was bound to assyth the party whom he had injured; no special statute was necessary to establish a point received and understood; but a doubt might be entertained, how far crimes were not entirely abolished by a remission, so as not only to stop the punishment of the law, but to exclude the claim of damages. To obviate this doubt was the intention of these various statutes, which provide that assythment shall be due, notwithstanding a remission.
    2. (medicine) An abatement or lessening of the manifestations of a disease; a period where the symptoms of a disease are absent.
      Synonyms: anesis, remittence
      Her cancer was in remission.
      • 1791, Robert Jackson, “Of Prognostic in the Fevers of Jamaica”, in A Treatise on the Fevers of Jamaica, with Some Observations on the Intermitting Fever of America, [], London: Printed for J[ohn] Murray, [], →OCLC, page 182:
        It was always dangerous, though perhaps leſs ſo, than other ſymptoms which was leſs alarming, particularly if it ſuffered increaſe and diminution with the paroxyſms and remiſſions of the diſeaſe.
      • 1810 December 20, Robert Darling Willis, witness, “Report of the Committee Appointed to Examine the King’s [George III’s] Physicians”, in T[homas] C[urson] Hansard, editor, Cobbett’s Parliamentary Debates [] (House of Lords), volume XVIII, London: Printed by T[homas] C[urson] Hansard, []; for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Browne; [et al.], published 1811, →OCLC, column 215:
        When Dr. Willis speaks of relapses, does he mean relapses after a cessation of the disorder, or after a remission of the disorder?—Certainly after a remission, his Majesty's disorder has never ceased.
      • 1840, Aul[us] Corn[elius] Celsus, “Book III”, in G. F. Collier, transl., A Translation of the Eight Books of Aul. Corn. Celsus on Medicine, 3rd revised and improved edition, London: Printed by A[braham] J[ohn] Valpy, []; sold by Longman & Co., Whittaker & Co., and Simpkin & Marshall, →OCLC, paragraph IX, page 92:
        Sometimes also slow fevers infest the body without any remission, so that there is no time afforded either for food or physic.
      • 1902 July, T. P. Cowen, “Pupillary Symptoms in the Insane, and Their Import”, in Henry Rayner, A. R. Urquhart, and Conolly Norman, editors, The Journal of Mental Science, volume XLVIII, number 166 (number 202 overall), London: J[ohn] & A[ugustus] Churchill, [], →ISSN, →OCLC, page 506:
        Yet again, in true general paralysis, remissions occur, and in these remissions most of the pupillary symptoms disappear, to return with the onset of fresh activity of the disease.
      • 2014, David M. Vail, “Rescue Therapy for Canine Lymphoma”, in John D. Bonagura and David C. Twedt, editors, Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy, volume XV, St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Saunders, →ISBN, section IV (Oncology and Hematology), page 381, column 1:
        When lymphoma is being treated, the fundamental goals of chemotherapy are to introduce a complete and durable (>6 months) first remission (termed induction), to reinduce a remission when the disease recurs (or the patient experiences relapse) following remission (termed reinduction), and, finally, to induce remission when the cancer fails to respond to induction or reinduction therapy using drugs not included in the initial protocols (termed rescue).
  3. An act of remitting, returning, or sending back.
    1. (law) A referral of a case back to another (especially a lower or inferior) court of law; a remand, a remittal.
      • 1953 October term, Silvio DeVita, Petitioner, vs. the State of New Jersey, Respondent. [] Brief for the State of New Jersey Oppositing Petition for Writ of Certiorari (Supreme Court of the United States; no. 429), Newark, N.J.: Arthur W. Cross, page 9:
        It was held by the Court of Errors and Appeals that the remission of the case to the trial court for clarification of the verdict was justified, and that the record, as corrected, clearly indicated that the recommendation of life imprisonment should apply only to Rannelli and not to Merra.
  4. (spectroscopy) Reflection or scattering of light by a material; reemission.
Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with reemission.

Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also[edit]


  1. ^ remissiǒun, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 remission, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2009; “remission, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

re- +‎ mission


remission (third-person singular simple present remissions, present participle remissioning, simple past and past participle remissioned)

  1. (transitive) To change the mission of; to provide with a new mission.
    • 2010, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Appropriations. Subcommittee on Defense, Department of Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011 (page 32)
      The Strykers have been remissioned, actually, to a mission of road security that actually takes advantage of the mobility that they provide.
    • 2014, Stella L. McNeer, He Is Able: God Is Our Only Hope in the Storms of Life
      Their original mission was reestablished. That is what happens to people who will allow God to remission their lives through His blood cleansing them.





  1. genitive singular of remissio



remission (plural remissiones)

  1. remission

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Latin remissio.


remission f (oblique plural remissions, nominative singular remission, nominative plural remissions)

  1. remission (pardon of a sin; the forgiveness of an offense)


  • English: remission
  • French: rémission