compensate

verb
com·​pen·​sate | \ ˈkäm-pən-ˌsāt How to pronounce compensate (audio) , -ˌpen- \
compensated; compensating

Essential Meaning of compensate

somewhat formal
1 : to provide something good as a balance against something bad or undesirable : to make up for some defect or weakness His enthusiasm compensates for his lack of skill. The price of the item has been reduced to compensate for a defect.
2 : to give money or something else of value to (someone) in return for something (such as work) or as payment for something lost, damaged, etc. compensate workers for their labor She was not compensated for the damage done to her car.

Full Definition of compensate

transitive verb

1 : to be equivalent to : counterbalance Her virtues compensate her faults.
2 : to make an appropriate and usually counterbalancing payment to compensate the victims for their loss
3a : to provide with means of counteracting variation compensate a magnetic needle
b : to neutralize the effect of (variations)

intransitive verb

1 : to supply an equivalent used with for compensate for his feelings of loneliness by assertions of superiority.— W. H. Auden
2 : to offset an error, defect, or undesired effect his enthusiasm compensates for his lack of skill
3 : to undergo or engage in psychological or physiological compensation His aggression was an attempt to compensate for inherent passivity.

Other Words from compensate

compensative \ ˈkäm-​pən-​ˌsā-​tiv How to pronounce compensate (audio) , -​ˌpen-​ ; kəm-​ˈpen(t)-​sə-​ How to pronounce compensate (audio) \ adjective
compensator \ ˈkäm-​pən-​ˌsā-​tər How to pronounce compensate (audio) , -​ˌpen-​ \ noun
compensatory \ kəm-​ˈpen(t)-​sə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce compensate (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for compensate

pay, compensate, remunerate, satisfy, reimburse, indemnify, repay, recompense mean to give money or its equivalent in return for something. pay implies the discharge of an obligation incurred. paid their bills compensate implies a making up for services rendered. an attorney well compensated for her services remunerate clearly suggests paying for services rendered and may extend to payment that is generous or not contracted for. promised to remunerate the searchers handsomely satisfy implies paying a person what is required by law. all creditors will be satisfied in full reimburse implies a return of money that has been spent for another's benefit. reimbursed employees for expenses indemnify implies making good a loss suffered through accident, disaster, warfare. indemnified the families of the dead miners repay stresses paying back an equivalent in kind or amount. repay a favor with a favor recompense suggests due return in amends, friendly repayment, or reward. passengers were recompensed for the delay

Examples of compensate in a Sentence

His enthusiasm compensates for his lack of skill. The price of the item has been reduced to compensate for a defect. compensate workers for their labor She was not compensated for the damage done to her car.
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Recent Examples on the Web The agreements in principle would compensate First Nations children on reserves and in the Yukon who were removed from their homes between April 1, 1991, and March 31, 2022, as well as their caregivers. Amanda Coletta, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Jan. 2022 The agreements in principle would compensate First Nations children on reserves and in the Yukon who were removed from their homes between April 1, 1991, and March 31, 2022, as well as their caregivers. Washington Post, 4 Jan. 2022 The first half in particular takes a while to get going, but the attention to historical detail and the marvelous production values compensate for the occasional lethargy. Andrea Towers, EW.com, 23 Dec. 2021 The funds would compensate more than 500 gymnasts — including Olympic gold medalists such as Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman — who were abused by Nassar or someone else in the sport. Juliet Macur, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Dec. 2021 Few companies compensate or provide bonuses to managers who help their staffers' mental health. Ashley Stahl, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 LG Energy, together with affiliate LG Electronics, needs to compensate GM for the recent recall of Chevy Bolt, to the tune of $1.9 billion. Jacky Wong, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2021 On vehicles that have a vacuum sensor, the brake system is able to detect a booster malfunction and the ABS module can compensate for the out-of-spec friction. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 5 Dec. 2021 Quantity, of course, can’t infinitely compensate for quality. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 2 Dec. 2021

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

1646, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for compensate

Latin compensatus, past participle of compensare, frequentative of compendere — see compendium

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Time Traveler for compensate

Time Traveler

The first known use of compensate was in 1646

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Dictionary Entries Near compensate

compensables

compensate

compensated dollar

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Statistics for compensate

Last Updated

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Compensate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compensate. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for compensate

compensate

verb
com·​pen·​sate | \ ˈkäm-pən-ˌsāt How to pronounce compensate (audio) \
compensated; compensating

Kids Definition of compensate

1 : to make up for The Captain … compensating for the tremor in his hands, slowly lifted his own cup …— Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved
2 : to give money to make up for something The factory will compensate an injured worker.

compensate

verb
com·​pen·​sate | \ ˈkäm-pən-ˌsāt, -ˌpen- How to pronounce compensate (audio) \
compensated; compensating

Medical Definition of compensate

transitive verb

: to subject to or remedy by physiological compensation compensated hypertensive patients

intransitive verb

: to undergo, experience, or engage in psychological or physiological compensation his aggression was an attempt to compensate for inherent passivity

compensate

transitive verb
com·​pen·​sate | \ ˈkäm-pən-ˌsāt, -ˌpen- How to pronounce compensate (audio) \
compensated; compensating

Legal Definition of compensate

: to make an appropriate and usually counterbalancing payment to compensate the victims for their injuries adequately compensated for her work

Other Words from compensate

compensatory \ kəm-​ˈpen-​sə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce compensate (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on compensate

Nglish: Translation of compensate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compensate for Arabic Speakers

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