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

Thankfully, the Recast is compatible with every Fire TV streaming player that the company has ever released. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Amazon Fire TV Recast review: the cord cutter’s DVR," 14 Nov. 2018 By contrast, China’s political system—a mongrel of autocratic capitalism and democratic socialism—is not compatible with progress and growth in the long run. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Big Brother Isn’t Watching You," 4 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, software companies are increasingly working together to develop open standards to ensure their products are compatible. Klint Finley, WIRED, "The Case That Never Ends: Oracle Wins Latest Round vs. Google," 27 Mar. 2018 The downside, however, is that the OnePlus 5T is not compatible with Verizon or Sprint. Lisa Eadicicco, Time, "The 5 Best Smartphones You Can Buy Right Now," 25 Jan. 2018 Run the Jewels: Your drunken cousins Even with the Lorde song, Styrke would have to strike most people as a far more compatible fit than the next act, Run the Jewels. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Lorde brings Melodrama Tour to Glendale, where she proves a very personable entertainer," 17 Mar. 2018 Meanwhile, the Demon’s transmission brake, Drag Mode calibration and optional race gas compatible engine control unit were retired with it to help keep the 3,300 examples of it that were built a little extra special. Fox News, "2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye unveiled with demonic 797 hp," 28 June 2018 When Goggins entered the field, kidney transplant patients could only receive an organ from donors who had a compatible blood type. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "1 doctor, 2,000+ kidney transplants. If surgeons kept stats, he’d be LeBron James.," 26 Apr. 2018 The app, which launches later this month, gives users a simple DNA test in order to match them to genetically compatible mates. Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian, "The Dubious Science of Genetics-Based Dating," 15 Feb. 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

18 Nov 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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