com·pat·i·ble | \ kəm-ˈpa-tə-bəl \

Definition of compatible 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : capable of existing together in harmony compatible theories compatible people

2 : capable of cross-fertilizing freely or uniting vegetatively

3 : capable of forming a homogeneous mixture that neither separates nor is altered by chemical interaction

4 : capable of being used in transfusion or grafting without reaction (such as agglutination or tissue rejection)

5 : designed to work with another device or system without modification The printer is compatible with most computers. especially : being a computer designed to operate in the same manner and use the same software as another computer


plural compatibles

Definition of compatible (Entry 2 of 2)

: a device (such as a computer) or system designed to be used with another device or system without modification This game is available on disk as well as in a full-voiced CD edition for PCs and compatibles. —Scott A. May

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Other words from compatible


compatibility \kəm-ˌpa-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē \ noun
compatibleness \kəm-ˈpa-tə-bəl-nəs \ noun
compatibly \kəm-ˈpa-tə-blē \ adverb

Examples of compatible in a Sentence


two people with compatible personalities This printer is compatible with most PCs.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Both Confide and Signal were also reportedly used in the Trump White House before then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer banned them in February 2017, saying that the apps likely were not compatible with the Presidential Records Act. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Mueller checks witnesses’ phones for secure messaging apps, per report," 7 June 2018 But the earliest versions of Zink printers weren’t compatible with the wildly-successful iPhone — oops. Scott Kirsner,, "These companies want you to print your pictures," 16 Mar. 2018 Project leaders during preliminary screening determined public docks weren't compatible with such a large project, said Rosetta Alcantra, vice president for communications with AGDC. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Intentionally excluded? Mat-Su Borough protests port’s omission from Alaska LNG site selection," 17 Jan. 2018 With support for Airplay 2, Sonos speakers will be able to play songs on multiple speakers from the Apple Music app—and from any other iOS app that is compatible with Airplay 2. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Apple's Airplay 2 May Be the Boost Sonos Needs for Its IPO," 11 July 2018 This sounds spare, but the USB-C port is compatible with DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, and Power Delivery 3.0. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "HP’s Envy x360 13 goes all in on Ryzen," 14 May 2018 They’ve been vetted by someone who knows you, meaning there’s a better chance that they’re (a) normal, and (b) maybe even compatible with you. Maria Del Russo, The Cut, "Why Won’t Any of My Friends Set Me Up?," 12 July 2018 SEPTA’s major unfinished business with PTC installation is making its system compatible with the other railroads that share track with it, including Amtrak and freight carriers CSX and Norfolk Southern. Jason Laughlin,, "How SEPTA got it right on a critical railroad safety system," 3 July 2018 Apple is also working on a wireless charging case that’s compatible with the upcoming AirPower charger. Mark Gurman,, "Apple to Unveil High-End AirPods, Over-Ear Headphones For 2019," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Each zip file contains a vector EPS (Adobe Illustrator version 8+ compatible) and some artists will also include PDF and AI files as well. Jenny Knizner, USA TODAY, "11 Free Marketing Resources for Freelancers," 16 Apr. 2018 Microsoft is also warning, again, that all Windows updates now require the use of a compatible, up-to-date anti-virus program. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Intel’s latest set of Spectre microcode fixes is coming to a Windows update," 1 Mar. 2018 All are also equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems, and are Apple CarPlay compatible. Charles Fleming,, "Honda's new Gold Wing: Lighter, leaner, more powerful," 24 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compatible.' 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 compatible


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1972, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for compatible


Middle English, from Medieval Latin compatibilis, literally, sympathetic, from Late Latin compati

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for compatible

The first known use of compatible was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for compatible


com·pat·i·ble | \ kəm-ˈpa-tə-bəl \

Kids Definition of compatible

: capable of existing together in harmony


com·pat·i·ble | \ kəm-ˈpat-ə-bəl \

Medical Definition of compatible 

1 : capable of existing together in a satisfactory relationship (as marriage)

2 : capable of being used in transfusion or grafting without immunological reaction (as agglutination or tissue rejection) treatment of hemophilia by transfusion of compatible blood

3 of medications : capable of being administered jointly without interacting to produce deleterious effects or impairing their respective actions

Other words from compatible

compatibility \-ˌpat-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē \ noun plural -ties

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