commensurable

adjective

com·​men·​su·​ra·​ble kə-ˈmen(t)s-rə-bəl How to pronounce commensurable (audio)
-ˈmen(t)sh-;
-ˈmen(t)-sə-,
-shə-
1
: having a common measure
specifically : divisible without remainder by a common unit
2
commensurability
kə-ˌmen(t)s-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce commensurable (audio)
-ˌmen(t)sh-;
-ˌmen(t)-sə-
-shə-
noun
commensurably
kə-ˈmen(t)s-rə-blē How to pronounce commensurable (audio)
-ˈmen(t)sh-;
-ˈmen(t)-sə-
-shə-
adverb

Did you know?

Commensurable means "having a common measure" or "corresponding in size, extent, amount, or degree." Its antonym incommensurable generally refers to things that are unlike and incompatible, sharing no common ground ("incommensurable theories"), or to things that are very disproportionate, often to the point of defying comparison ("incommensurable crimes"). Both words entered English in the 1500s and were originally used (as they still can be) for numbers that have or don't have a common divisor. They came to English by way of Middle French and Late Latin, ultimately deriving from the Latin noun mensura, meaning "measure." Mensura is also an ancestor of commensurate (meaning "coextensive" or "proportionate") and incommensurate ("disproportionate" or "insufficient"), which overlap in meaning with commensurable and incommensurable but are not exact synonyms.

Examples of commensurable in a Sentence

though his new job pays less, the pay is at least commensurable with the amount of work and the level of stress he must contend with
Recent Examples on the Web Once the germ reached the seething colonies of commensurable rodents, fattened on the empire’s giant stores of grain, the mortality was unstoppable. Kyle Harper, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2017 That was out of the question—their behavior was not commensurable with our understanding of universal laws. The New Yorker, 10 Aug. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commensurable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of commensurable was in 1557

Dictionary Entries Near commensurable

Cite this Entry

“Commensurable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commensurable. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on commensurable

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!