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

That spawned Twitter hashtags #PayTheWomen and #PayThem, as the world champions fight for paychecks that are commensurate with their accomplishments. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Equal pay is the U.S. Women's National Team's next goal," 10 July 2019 Service is not always commensurate with the high cost of admission. Patricia Escárcega,, "Spago at middle age: Is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant still relevant?," 27 June 2019 But Bigger says these words are not being met with commensurate action. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Report: The U.S. Military Is Creating a Carbon Pollution Bootprint," 26 June 2019 But compared to other industries, banking appears either commensurate or only slightly more diverse. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Why UK prime minister candidate Sajid Javid chose a career in banking," 18 June 2019 If Trump sought a proportional response, damaging some intelligence and military computers is certainly more commensurate with the downing of an unmanned drone than bombing physical targets. Alex Ward, Vox, "The weekend in the risky US-Iran standoff, explained," 24 June 2019 But my response would be that perhaps men and women are being paid commensurate to gross revenue. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: Is Nadal's 12 French Opens the Most Unbreakable Record in Tennis History?," 12 June 2019 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

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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Statistics for commensurate

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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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).


something desired as essential

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