noun com·pro·mise \ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz\

: 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

a :  settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions
b :  something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things
:  a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial <a compromise of principles>

Examples of COMPROMISE

  1. the art of political compromise
  2. To avoid an argument, always be ready to seek compromise.
  3. a director who will not tolerate artistic compromise
  4. She says that accepting their proposal would be a compromise of her principles.
  5. 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


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\

: 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

transitive verb
obsolete :  to bind by mutual agreement
:  to adjust or settle by mutual concessions
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>
intransitive verb
a :  to come to agreement by mutual concession
b :  to find or follow a way between extremes
:  to make a shameful or disreputable concession <wouldn't compromise with their principles>
com·pro·mis·er noun

Examples of COMPROMISE

  1. The two sides were unwilling to compromise.
  2. We can't reveal that information without compromising national security.
  3. a dangerous drug that can further compromise an already weakened immune system
  4. 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


(see 1compromise)
First Known Use: 1598


Next Word in the Dictionary: compromise formationPrevious Word in the Dictionary: compromisAll Words Near: compromise
May 29, 2015
bodacious Hear it
unmistakable, remarkable, or voluptuous
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears