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noun com·pro·mise \ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz\

Simple Definition of compromise

  • : a way of reaching agreement in which each person or group gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or dispute

  • : something that combines the qualities of two different things

  • : a change that makes something worse and that is not done for a good reason

Full Definition of compromise

  1. 1 a :  settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions b :  something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things

  2. 2 :  a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial <a compromise of principles>

Examples of compromise

  1. “You can't always come up with the optimal solution, but you can usually come up with a better solution,” he [Barack Obama] said over lunch one afternoon. “A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence.” —William Finnegan, New Yorker, 31 May 2004

  2. I therefore proposed a … strategy that raised the possibility of compromise … —Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect, 1995

  3. I've had other films that were successful, but I'm aware of the compromises I made—and they were tremendous. —Woody Allen, Rolling Stone,16 Sept. 1993

  4. In his promotion of burgeoning black writers, however, Hughes made no compromises. —Rita Dove, New York Times Book Review, 9 Oct. 1988

  5. the art of political compromise

  6. To avoid an argument, always be ready to seek compromise.

  7. a director who will not tolerate artistic compromise

  8. She says that accepting their proposal would be a compromise of her principles.

Origin of compromise

Middle English, mutual promise to abide by an arbiter's decision, from Anglo-French compromisse, from Latin compromissum, from neuter of compromissus, past participle of compromittere to promise mutually, from com- + promittere to promise — more at promise

First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with compromise

advertise, agonize, alchemize, analyze, anglicize, anodize, anywise, aphorize, arborize, atomize, authorize, autolyze, balkanize, barbarize, bastardize, bestialize, bolshevize, booby prize, botanize, bowdlerize, brutalize, canalize, canonize, capsulize, caramelize, carbonize, cartelize, catalyze, catechize, cauterize, centralize, channelize, Christianize, cicatrize, circumcise, civilize, classicize, colonize, colorize, communize, concertize, concretize, creolize, criticize, customize, demonize, deputize, dialyze, digitize, disfranchise, dogmatize, dramatize, elegize, empathize, emphasize, energize, enfranchise, enterprise, equalize, erotize, eternize, etherize, eulogize, euphemize, exercise, exorcise, factorize, fantasize, federalize, feminize, fertilize, feudalize, fictionize, finalize, focalize, formalize, formulize, fossilize, fragmentize, fraternize, gallicize, galvanize, germanize, ghettoize, glamorize, globalize, gormandize, gothicize, gourmandize, grecianize, harmonize, heathenize, hebraize, hellenize, heroize, hierarchize, humanize, hybridize, hypnotize, idolize, immunize, iodize, ionize, ironize, Islamize, itemize, jeopardize, journalize, Judaize, laicize, latinize, legalize, lionize, liquidize, localize, magnetize, marbleize, martyrize, maximize, mechanize, melanize, melodize, memorize, merchandise, mesmerize, methodize, metricize, minimize, mobilize, modernize, moisturize, mongrelize, moralize, motorize, mythicize, narcotize, nasalize, nebulize, neutralize, normalize, notarize, novelize, obelize, odorize, optimize, organize, ostracize, otherwise, oversize, oxidize, paganize, palletize, paradise, paralyze, pasteurize, patronize, pauperize, penalize, penny-wise, personalize, pidginize, plasticize, Platonize, pluralize, pocket-size, poetize, polarize, polemize, pressurize, privatize, profitwise, prussianize, publicize, pulverize, racialize, randomize, rationalize, realize, recognize, rhapsodize, robotize, romanize, sanitize, satirize, scandalize, schematize, schismatize, scrutinize, sensitize, sermonize, signalize, simonize, sinicize, slenderize, sloganize, socialize, sodomize, solarize, solemnize, specialize, stabilize, Stalinize, standardize, sterilize, stigmatize, strategize, subsidize, summarize, supervise, syllogize, symbolize, sympathize, synchronize, syncretize, synopsize, synthesize, systemize, tantalize, televise, temporize, tenderize, terrorize, tetanize, teutonize, texturize, theorize, thermalize, totalize, tranquilize, traumatize, tyrannize, unionize, unitize, urbanize, utilize, valorize, vandalize, vaporize, verbalize, vernalize, victimize, vitalize, vocalize, vulcanize, vulgarize, weather-wise, weatherize, westernize, winterize, womanize, worldly-wise



verb com·pro·mise \ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz\

Simple Definition of compromise

  • : to give up something that you want in order to reach an agreement : to settle differences by means of a compromise

  • : to expose (something) to risk or danger

  • : to damage or weaken (something)

Full Definition of compromise


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 obsolete :  to bind by mutual agreement

  3. 2 :  to adjust or settle by mutual concessions

  4. 3 a :  to expose to suspicion, discredit, or mischief <his reputation has been compromised> b :  to reveal or expose to an unauthorized person and especially to an enemy <confidential information was compromised> c :  to cause the impairment of <a compromised immune system> <a seriously compromised patient>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 a :  to come to agreement by mutual concession b :  to find or follow a way between extremes

  7. 2 :  to make a shameful or disreputable concession <wouldn't compromise with their principles>

com·pro·mis·er noun

Examples of compromise

  1. You don't make deals that compromise yourself or your team, of course, but you help other riders if you can, so they might return the favor. —Lance Armstrong, It's Not About the Bike, (2000) 2001

  2. The book is compromised by the author's lack of selectivity. —Amy Hempel, Ms., October/November 1999

  3. Our plan had been to pass a good balanced budget without compromising its essential components … —Tony Blankley, George, September 1997

  4. Lieutenant Charon would get a pat on the back from his captain … not to mention congratulations for running such a quiet and effective operation that had not compromised his informants … —Tom Clancy, Without Remorse, 1994

  5. Finally, the two sides compromised and a treaty was signed … —Alfredo Quarto, Cultural Survival Quarterly, 1990

  6. The two sides were unwilling to compromise.

  7. We can't reveal that information without compromising national security.

  8. a dangerous drug that can further compromise an already weakened immune system

Origin of compromise

(see 1compromise)

First Known Use: 1598

COMPROMISE Defined for Kids



noun com·pro·mise \ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz\

Definition of compromise

  1. 1 :  an agreement over a dispute reached by each side changing or giving up some demands <After much argument, they finally reached a compromise.>

  2. 2 :  something agreed upon as a result of each side changing or giving up some demands <Our compromise is to take turns with the toy.>



verb com·pro·mise

Definition of compromise


  1. 1 :  to settle by agreeing that each side will change or give up some demands

  2. 2 :  to expose to risk, suspicion, or disgrace <A spy can compromise national security.>

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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