Amnesty – Definition & Meaning

Amnesty is a term that is often used in discussions about politics, human rights, and legal issues. It is a concept that has been around for centuries and has been used in various ways. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of amnesty, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and its use in example sentences.


Amnesty is defined as a pardon or forgiveness for a group or individuals who have committed a crime or offense. It is a legal act that removes the consequences of the offense and allows the individuals to return to their normal lives without fear of prosecution or punishment.


The word amnesty comes from the Greek word “amnestia,” which means “forgetfulness.” The concept of amnesty dates back to ancient Greece, where it was used to forgive political offenses. It was later adopted by the Roman Empire and used to pardon criminals and rebels.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, amnesty is defined as “an official pardon for people who have been convicted of political offenses.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “the act of an authority (such as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals.”


Amnesty is often associated with political issues such as immigration and human rights. It is also associated with legal issues such as pardons and clemency.


Synonyms for amnesty include pardon, forgiveness, clemency, absolution, and remission.


Antonyms for amnesty include punishment, retribution, penalty, and condemnation.

The same root words

The root word of amnesty is “amnestia,” which comes from the Greek word “amnesia,” meaning forgetfulness.

Example Sentences

  1. The government announced an amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
  2. The amnesty allowed the rebels to return to their homes without fear of prosecution.
  3. The opposition party called for an amnesty for all political prisoners.
  4. The amnesty was seen as a positive step towards reconciliation and unity.
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