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.

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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 These included training priests and other clerics, revising Canon Law — the legal code the Vatican uses to govern the church — and fostering policies to recognize and compensate victims, Sauvé said. Sylvie Corbet, ajc, 5 Oct. 2021 These included training priests and other clerics, revising Canon Law — the legal code the Vatican uses to govern the church — and fostering policies to recognize and compensate victims. Sylvie Corbet, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Oct. 2021 These included training priests and other clerics, revising Canon Law — the legal code the Vatican uses to govern the church — and fostering policies to recognize and compensate victims. Fox News, 5 Oct. 2021 The church must not only acknowledge events but also compensate victims, Devaux said. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Oct. 2021 These included training priests and other clerics, revising Canon Law — the legal code the Vatican uses to govern the church — and fostering policies to recognize and compensate victims. Sylvie Corbet, USA TODAY, 5 Oct. 2021 In some cases, cargoes have been diverted because traders sell the product to higher bidders and compensate the original buyer, or shippers cancel contracts in favor of bigger profits, according to vessel-trackers and industry consultants. Joe Wallace, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2021 More often, though, the drama’s emotional impact fades too quickly, and chief writer and producer Danny Strong (Empire) attempts to compensate by doubling the dosage. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 6 Oct. 2021 So a future grid that runs on an often intermittent supply of energy from renewables will need to be far more flexible to compensate. Matt Simon, Wired, 6 Oct. 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

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compensate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compensate. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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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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