com·​men·​su·​rate | \kə-ˈmen(t)s-rət, -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 , -​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

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 The color of the smoke is commensurate with burning metal, too. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Watch lightning strike dangerously close to this police officer," 29 June 2018 After all, the conflicts with Canada and North Korea are not commensurate. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump adviser suggests president insulted Canada to impress Kim Jong Un.," 11 June 2018 Beverly Duncan, co-chair of the affordable housing committee of Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, questions whether the level of public investment in the arena is commensurate with all the needs for taxpayer funding. Allison Ross, The Courier-Journal, "The KFC Yum Center was built to spur a downtown boom. Did it work?," 12 July 2018 The existential tale, created by David E. Kelley and Jonathan Shapiro, dives into the righteous, flawed, intense, if reticent, soul of Billy McBride, a boozed-up, motel-living lawyer whose integrity is commensurate with his understanding of evil. Jeffrey Fleishman,, "From ‘Sling Blade’ to ‘Goliath’: Billy Bob Thornton finds his peace," 7 June 2018 At the time, WPP said Mr. Sorrell’s pay was commensurate reward for masterminding acquisitions. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "After WPP Chief’s Departure, Chairman Presses for Revamp of Ad Giant," 7 June 2018 Maybe not commensurate like quantitative, but there will be ... Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Box CEO Aaron Levie on Recode Decode," 11 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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Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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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

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

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