noun, plural amnesties.
a general pardon for offenses, especially political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.
Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, especially to a class of persons as a whole.
a forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.
verb (used with object), amnestied, amnestying.
to grant amnesty to; pardon.

1570–80; (< Middle French amnestie) < Greek amnēstía oblivion, equivalent to ámnēst(os) forgetting (a- a-6 + mnēs- remember + -tos verbal adjective suffix) + -ia -y3

1. See pardon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
amnesty (ˈæmnɪstɪ)
n , pl -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
vb , -ties, -ties, -tying, -tied
4.  (tr) to overlook or forget (an offence)
[C16: from Latin amnēstia, from Greek: oblivion, from amnēstos forgetting, from a-1 + -mnēstos, from mnasthai to remember]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"pardon of past offenses," 1570s, from Fr. amnestie "intentional overlooking," from L. amnestia, from Gk. amnestia "oblivion," from a-, privative prefix, "not," + mnestis "remembrance," related to mnaomai "I remember" (see mind (n.)). Amnesty International founded 1961 as Appeal
for Amnesty. The name was changed 1963.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Now the government is working on an amnesty bill aimed at pardoning those
  jailed for political offences over the past few years.
The recording industry plans to announce an amnesty for people who admit to
  music file sharing and promise to stop.
The men, sentenced and convicted, were later released as part of a general
The vote followed an outpouring of criticism from conservatives and others who
  decried it as a form of amnesty for lawbreakers.
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