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 commensurate (audio) , -​shə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for commensurate



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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 This subcompact feels solidly built, and material quality is mostly commensurate with its price, although the hard, shiny plastic dashtop panel looks chintzy, especially in the top-spec SEL models that go for more than $30,000. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, 26 May 2021 California schoolchildren regularly rehearse for earthquakes and practice fire drills, yet few leave school with a commensurate respect for the dangers of the ocean. Nora Mishanec, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 May 2021 The capital gains tax chiefly benefits the rich, which imposes a commensurate burden on other taxpayers. Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2021 Diplomats are trying to chart a course toward lifting of sanctions that have battered the Iranian economy with commensurate steps from Iran’s side. Laurence Norman, WSJ, 15 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, the specialized care necessary to tend to this population has not seen commensurate growth: of the more than 139,000 graduating medical students who started their residency in 2020, fewer than 400 entered geriatrics. Melina Walling, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2021 And the military has a commensurate track record, with urgent and inveterate problems still far from resolved. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 6 Apr. 2021 Auto insurers have failed to provide commensurate relief., 1 Apr. 2021 Still, the small number of disciplinary actions is in no way commensurate with the kind of abuse and neglect that seems to be prevalent in the system, critics say. USA Today, 18 Mar. 2021

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

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The first known use of commensurate was in 1641

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Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commensurate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for commensurate



English Language Learners Definition of commensurate

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


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