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

Keep scrolling for more

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



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In other words, the business community, especially the large technology firms of the South Bay, cannot keep exacerbating the Bay Area’s traffic congestion by building more job centers unless those communities ensure commensurate nearby housing. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Slow the train on $100 billion Bay Area transportation tax," 13 June 2019 Facial recognition technology continues to expand, bringing with it a commensurate sense of unease. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Security News This Week: Cryptocurrency Company Hacks Itself Before Hackers Can Hack It," 8 June 2019 The truth is that lofty public perception overwhelmed the realty of how his skill should be commensurate with his draft range. Jeremy Woo,, "2018 NBA Draft Big Board 6.0: Top 80 Prospects As We Enter the Predraft Process," 9 Apr. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about commensurate

Listen to Our Podcast about commensurate

Statistics for commensurate

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for commensurate

The first known use of commensurate was in 1641

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for commensurate



English Language Learners Definition of commensurate

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


having a desire to acquire more things

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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