v. com·mut·ed, com·mut·ing, com·mutes
1. To travel as a commuter: She commuted each day to her office downtown by subway.
a. To make substitution or exchange.
b. To serve as a substitute.
3. To pay in gross, usually at a reduced rate, rather than in individual payments.
4. Mathematics & Logic To satisfy a commutative property. If a × b = b × a, then a commutes with b, regardless of whether the operation indicated by × is commutative.
1. To substitute (one thing for another); exchange.
2. To change (a penalty, debt, or payment) to a less severe one.
An act or instance of commuting, especially the trip made by a commuter: a 22-mile commute; an easy commute.
[Middle English commuten, to transform, from Latin commūtāre : com-, com- + mūtāre, to change; see mei-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.