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

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 Travelers who want to buy a local number and an inexpensive data plan can then swap in a compatible SIM card (short for subscriber identity module) from international wireless carriers. New York Times, "How to Unlock Your Phone for Overseas Travel," 9 July 2018 After that is implemented, guests would be able to use music and audiobook subscriptions and purchases in compatible services, like Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Audible. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Amazon Wants Alexa to Act as Your Hotel Room Butler, Starting With Marriott," 19 June 2018 For added fun, enlist a compatible companion who also thinks past the dumpster. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "There's more than just shiplap to salvage around the Midwest. Here's where to find some treasures," 1 June 2018 When the church did object at the local level in Birmingham, in 1795, Galton argued that two were compatible, that living at the heart of manufacturing made his involvement with the violence of war unavoidable. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How British Gun Manufacturers Changed the Industrial World Lock, Stock and Barrel," 12 Apr. 2018 Following that, on a somewhat longer timeline, is the installation—in California plus 38 other states—of more than 2000 Level 3 fast chargers that can recharge compatible vehicles most of the way in less than an hour. Bengt Halvorson, Car and Driver, "Volkswagen’s Electrify America EV Charging Network to Rival Size of Tesla’s," 26 Jan. 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

7 Oct 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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Comments on compatible

What made you want to look up compatible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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