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See also: remît


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English remitten, from Latin remittere (to send, send back), present active infinitive of remittō. Compare Old French remettre, remetre, remitter.

Pronunciation 1[edit]


remit (third-person singular simple present remits, present participle remitting, simple past and past participle remitted)

  1. (transitive) To transmit or send (e.g. money in payment); to supply.
    • 1728, Daniel Defoe, chapter 3, in Some Considerations on the Reasonableness and Necessity of Encreasing and Encouraging the Seamen[1], London, page 45:
      Such a Step as this would raise a Succession of able Seamen, and in a few Years would come to remit a thousand, or perhaps two or three thousand sturdy Youths every Year into the general Class of English Seamen;
    • 1849 May – 1850 November, Charles Dickens, chapter 18, in The Personal History of David Copperfield, London: Bradbury & Evans, [], published 1850, →OCLC:
      Doctor Strong refers to me in public as a promising young scholar. Mr. Dick is wild with joy, and my aunt remits me a guinea by the next post.
    • 2003: The Hindu, World Cup sponsors can remit money in forex: SC read at [2] on 14 May 2006
      The Supreme Court today allowed major sponsors, including LG Electronics India (LGEI), to remit foreign exchange for the tournament.
  2. (transitive) To forgive, pardon (a wrong, offence, etc.).
  3. (transitive) To refrain from exacting or enforcing.
    to remit the performance of an obligation
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To give up; omit; cease doing.
    • 1761, George Colman, The Genius, No. 12, 19 November, 1761, in Prose on Several Occasions, London: T. Cadel, 1787, p. 124,[4]
      Among our own sex, there is no race of men more apt to indulge a spirit of acrimony, and to remit their natural Good Humour, than authors.
    • 1803, Robert Charles Dallas, The History of the Maroons[5], London: Longman and Rees, Volume 1, Letter 5, p. 125:
      He who connected himself with a woman whose brother, sister, or other relations, were fugitives, would probably be tempted to remit his pursuit of them, and even to favour their concealment.
    • 1848, Anne Brontë, chapter 37, in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall[6]:
      I was obliged at last almost entirely to remit my visits to the Grove, at the expense of deeply offending Mrs. Hargrave and seriously afflicting poor Esther, who really values my society for want of better [...]
  5. (transitive) To allow (something) to slacken, to relax (one's attention etc.).
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book II”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 210-211:
      Our Supream Foe in time may much remit
      His anger,
    • 1774, Oliver Goldsmith, chapter 20, in An History of the Earth: and Animated Nature[7], volume 1, London: J. Nourse, page 352:
      The wind at sea generally blows with an even steady gale; the wind at land puffs by intervals, encreasing its strength, and remitting it, without any apparent cause.
    • 1846, Herman Melville, chapter 18, in Typee[8]:
      Their confidence revived, they might in a short time remit in some degree their watchfulness over my movements, and I should then be the better enabled to avail myself of any opportunity which presented itself for escape.
  6. (intransitive, obsolete) To show a lessening or abatement (of a specified quality).
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC:
      , New York 2001, p.132-3:
      Great Alexander in the midst of all his prosperity […], when he saw one of his wounds bleed, remembered that he was but a man, and remitted of his pride.
    • 1775, Samuel Jackson Pratt, The Legend of Benignus, Chapter 5, in Liberal Opinions, upon Animals, Man, and Providence, London: G. Robinson and J. Bew, Volume 1, p. 97,[9]
      At the end of about two months, the severity of my fate began to remit of its rigour.
  7. (intransitive, obsolete) To diminish, abate.
    • 1695, John Woodward, An Essay toward a Natural History of the Earth and Terrestrial Bodies[10], London: Richard Wilkin, Part 4, p. 198:
      [The water] sustains these Particles, and carries them on together with it ’till such time as its Motion begins to remit and be less rapid than it was at, and near its Source;
    • 1720, Alexander Pope, The Iliad of Homer, London: Bernard Lintott, Volume 6, “Observations on the Twenty-Second Book,” no. 25, p. 52,[11]
      [...] this is very agreeable to the Nature of Achilles; his Anger abates very slowly; it is stubborn, yet still it remits:
    • 1783, Samuel Johnson, letter to James Boswell dated 30 September, 1783, in James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, London: Charles Dilly, 1791, Volume 2, p. 467,[12]
      [...] I have been for these ten days much harrassed with the gout, but that has now remitted.
  8. (transitive) To refer (something or someone) for deliberation, judgment, etc. (to a particular body or person).
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To send back.
  10. (transitive, archaic) To give or deliver up; surrender; resign.
  11. (transitive) To restore or replace.
  12. (transitive) To postpone.
  13. (transitive, obsolete) To refer (someone to something), direct someone's attention to something.
    • 1668, Joseph Glanvill, Plus Ultra, or, The Progress and Advancement of Knowledge since the Days of Aristotle, London: James Collins, Preface,[14]
      These are the things I thought fit to premise to my Discourse, to which now I remit your Eyes, without adding more [...]
    • 1692, John Milton, chapter VIII, in [Joseph Washington], transl., A Defence of the People of England, []: In Answer to Salmasius’s Defence of the King, [London?: s.n.], →OCLC, page 180:
      You wonder how it comes to paſs that a King of Great Britain muſt now-adays be looked upon as one of the Magiſtrates of the Kingdom only; whereas in all other Kingly Governments in Chriſtendom, Kings are inveſted with a Free and Absolute Authority. For the Scots, I remit you to [George] Buchanan: For France, your own Native Countrey, to which you ſeem to be a ſtranger, to Hottoman's Franco Gallia, and Girardus a French Hiſtorian; [...]
    • 1762, Henry Home, Lord Kames, chapter 3, in Elements of Criticism[15], volume 1, Edinburgh: A. Kincaid & J. Bell, page 247:
      For the definitions of regularity, uniformity, proportion, and order, if thought necessary, I remit my reader to the appendix at the end of the book.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Pronunciation 2[edit]


remit (plural remits)

  1. (chiefly Britain) Terms of reference; set of responsibilities; scope.
    • 2000: Scientific Working Group on Good Laboratory Practice issues, Handbook: Good Laboratory Practice read on World Health Organisation website at [16] on 14 May 2006:
      WHO/TDR should prepare a volume containing ... important issues in the performance of studies that fall outside of the GLP remit.
    • 2001: H. Meinardi et al, ILAE Commission, The treatment gap in epilepsy: the current situation and ways forward read at [17] on 14 May 2006:
      However, this is beyond the remit of this particular article.
    • 2003: Andy Macleod, Cisco Systems, Pulling it all together - the 21st Century Campus read at [18] on 14 May 2006:
      Next steps ... Create one IS organisation and extend remit to all HE activities.
    • 2012, The Economist, Sep 29th 2012 issue, Chile's economic statistics: For richer—or poorer
      Chile needs to gather together its statisticians into a single agency, such as a new and improved INE, and give it more autonomy and a broader remit.
    • 2020 January 2, David Clough, “How InterCity came back from the brink”, in Rail, page 66:
      As an adjunct to the new corporate plan, the sector produced a 20-page prospectus explaining how it would fulfil its remit, which was approved by the Minister.
  2. (law) A communication from a superior court to a subordinate court.
See also[edit]





  1. third-person singular past historic of remettre