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

Apple also noted on its support page that iCloud for Windows was compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 through Windows 10’s April 2018 update, excluding the latest October Update. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Apple fixes iCloud to work better with Windows 10 October Update," 27 Nov. 2018 Two years ago Dewalt introduced their Flexvolt 60V/20V line of cordless power tools, with batteries that were backwards compatible with their popular 20V MAX tool platform. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Go Corded or Cordless with Metabo HPT MultiVolt Power Tools," 19 Oct. 2018 Instead, thanks to a paired kidney exchange program, Vinson was able to trade his kidney with a donor who was compatible. Lyndsay Winkley,, "SDPD officer gets second shot at long-awaited kidney transplant," 11 July 2018 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

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

2 Dec 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).


a nest or breeding place

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