com·​men·​su·​rate | \ kə-ˈmen(t)s-rət How to pronounce commensurate (audio) , -ˈmen(t)sh-; -ˈmen(t)-sə-, -shə-\

Definition of commensurate

1 : corresponding in size, extent, amount, or degree : proportionate was given a job commensurate with her abilities
2 : equal in measure or extent : coextensive lived a life commensurate with the early years of the republic

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Other Words from commensurate

commensurately adverb
commensuration \ kə-​ˌmen(t)-​sə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce commensuration (audio) , -​shə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for commensurate


commensurable, proportional, proportionate



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Did You Know?

Commensurate is a word that really measures up. And no wonder - it's a descendant of the Latin noun mensura, meaning "measure," from "mensus," past participle of "metiri" ("to measure"). In the first recorded use of "commensurate," which comes from 1641, the adjective was used as a synonym of "coextensive." It didn't take long for "commensurate" to be used to mean "proportionate" as well. Henry James used this sense in The American when he wrote, "The stakes were high and the risk was great; the prize therefore must have been commensurate."

Examples of commensurate in a Sentence

Because the effects of tobacco are slow—and iterative—and produce diseases that have other causes and explanations, often later in life, they seldom arouse fear commensurate with their impact. — Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, (2007) 2009 The last of the string family, the double bass, is the largest of all and must be played standing. Because it is seen in jazz bands, it has recently taken on an importance more nearly commensurate with its size. — Aaron Copland, What to Listen for in Music, (1957) 1988 I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed. — Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969 … athletes are rewarded commensurate with their fame, not their intrinsic talent … — Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 21 Dec. l987 Her new position came with a commensurate level of responsibility. was given a job commensurate with her abilities and experience
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Recent Examples on the Web

The bank overseer has noticed a range of methods for doing asset-depletion calculations and wants to make sure the level of oversight is commensurate with the level of risk in these loans, according to people familiar with the matter. Ben Eisen, WSJ, "No Pay Stub? No Problem. Unconventional Mortgages Make a Comeback," 23 Jan. 2019 The rise of a new billionaire class in Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe has led to a commensurate rise in superrich art collectors, and those collectors are wealthier than ever before. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel, explained," 6 Dec. 2018 Taylor reported earning $1,152 in interest -- an amount not commensurate with $3 million in cash. Andrew J. Tobias,, "Mary Taylor's $3 million campaign loan subject of state legislator's elections complaint," 30 Apr. 2018 In the longer run the small increase in capital could result in a small increase in wages, but expect nothing commensurate with the cost workers will eventually have to pay for the tax cuts themselves. Jason Furman, WSJ, "The Trump Tax Cuts Boosted Growth and Jobs, but at What Cost?," 18 Dec. 2018 But since the consumers of meat and gasoline do not pay a price that is commensurate to those harms, humanity overconsumes both meat and gasoline relative to what would be socially optimal. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The best thing you can do to stop climate change is to vote against Republicans," 27 Nov. 2018 Frontline players not being offered contracts commensurate with their ability this year so teams can take that money to offer free-agent players hefty contracts a year from now?, "Letters: Football fans look for the coffin corner with new prices," 9 Mar. 2018 As the Chinese population ages, the savings rate is likely to decline further, with commensurate increases in consumption. Jason Furman, WSJ, "Don’t Get Distracted by the Trade Deficit With China," 20 May 2018 The bank has defended its profits as commensurate with the risk involved. Yantoultra Ngui, WSJ, "Najib Razak, Malaysia’s Fallen Leader, Is Arrested and Charged in 1MDB Scandal," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commensurate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of commensurate

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for commensurate

Late Latin commensuratus, from Latin com- + Late Latin mensuratus, past participle of mensurare to measure, from Latin mensura measure — more at measure

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Time Traveler for commensurate

The first known use of commensurate was in 1641

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English Language Learners Definition of commensurate

formal : equal or similar to something in size, amount, or degree

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Comments on commensurate

What made you want to look up commensurate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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