noun, plural am·nes·ties.

  1. a general pardon for offenses, especially political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.
  2. Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, especially to a class of persons as a whole.
  3. a forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.

verb (used with object), am·nes·tied, am·nes·ty·ing.

  1. to grant amnesty to; pardon.

noun plural -ties

  1. a general pardon, esp for offences against a government
  2. a period during which a law is suspended to allow offenders to admit their crime without fear of prosecution
  3. law a pardon granted by the Crown or Executive and effected by statute

verb -ties, -tying or -tied

  1. (tr) to overlook or forget (an offence)

“pardon of past offenses,” 1570s, from French amnestie “intentional overlooking,” from Latin amnestia, from Greek amnestia “forgetfulness (of wrong); an amnesty,” from a-, privative prefix, “not” (see a- (3)), + mnestis “remembrance,” related to mnaomai “I remember” (see mind (n.)). As a verb, from 1809. Amnesty International founded 1961 as Appeal for Amnesty. The name was changed 1963.

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