compromise

noun
com·​pro·​mise | \ ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz How to pronounce compromise (audio) \

Definition of compromise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions
b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things
2 : a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial a compromise of principles

compromise

verb
compromised; compromising

Definition of compromise (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to come to agreement by mutual concession The two sides were unwilling to compromise. The union and employer agreed to compromise.
b : to find or follow a way between extremes
2 : to make a shameful or disreputable concession wouldn't compromise with their principles

transitive verb

1a : to reveal or expose to an unauthorized person and especially to an enemy Confidential information was compromised.
b : to cause the impairment of illnesses that can seriously compromise the immune system If you don't acknowledge the parent at all, you risk seeming unnecessarily hostile or dismissive but if you allow the parent to govern decisions you could compromise the patient.— Ranjana Srivastava
c : to expose to suspicion, discredit, or mischief His reputation has been compromised.
2 : to adjust or settle by mutual concessions An arbiter was brought in to compromise their differences.
3 obsolete : to bind by mutual agreement

Other Words from compromise

Verb

compromiser \ ˈkäm-​prə-​ˌmī-​zər How to pronounce compromise (audio) \ noun

Examples of compromise in a Sentence

Noun "You can't always come up with the optimal solution, but you can usually come up with a better solution," he [Barack Obama] said over lunch one afternoon. "A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence." — William Finnegan, New Yorker, 31 May 2004 I therefore proposed a … strategy that raised the possibility of compromise — Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect, 1995 I've had other films that were successful, but I'm aware of the compromises I made—and they were tremendous. — Woody Allen, Rolling Stone, 16 Sept. 1993 In his promotion of burgeoning black writers, however, Hughes made no compromises. — Rita Dove, New York Times Book Review, 9 Oct. 1988 the art of political compromise To avoid an argument, always be ready to seek compromise. a director who will not tolerate artistic compromise She says that accepting their proposal would be a compromise of her principles. Verb You don't make deals that compromise yourself or your team, of course, but you help other riders if you can, so they might return the favor. — Lance Armstrong, It's Not About the Bike, (2000) 2001 The book is compromised by the author's lack of selectivity. — Amy Hempel, Ms., October/November 1999 Our plan had been to pass a good balanced budget without compromising its essential components … — Tony Blankley, George, September 1997 Lieutenant Charon would get a pat on the back from his captain … not to mention congratulations for running such a quiet and effective operation that had not compromised his informants … — Tom Clancy, Without Remorse, 1994 Finally, the two sides compromised and a treaty was signed … — Alfredo Quarto, Cultural Survival Quarterly, 1990 The two sides were unwilling to compromise. We can't reveal that information without compromising national security. a dangerous drug that can further compromise an already weakened immune system See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The House later passed a second plan that would clump together communities along the I-93 corridor, but the Senate rejected it, sending the matter to a committee of conference to come up with a compromise. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 18 May 2022 In the meantime, budget negotiations were relegated to closed-door discussions between members of a conference committee tasked with finding a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News, 17 May 2022 Finally, Sergey offered a compromise: if Zalizetskaya wrote a public post saying that the site did not belong to her, her father would be released. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 The November elections are also looming, limiting time for lawmakers to hammer out a compromise between House and Senate versions as political pressures mount. John D. Mckinnon And Yuka Hayashi, WSJ, 16 May 2022 Seeking a compromise, Rodriguez proposed that the county authorize staff to begin work on contractual language for only a one-year pilot program in the 2022-2023 season. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2022 The law allows initiatives to be taken off a ballot if a compromise is negotiated and passed by lawmakers. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2022 Consensus on a compromise may come someday but only after years of trench warfare in the states. The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 May 2022 Watanabe seems unconcerned with such modest stats, insisting that the RZ will deliver a good compromise between range, efficiency, and performance. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, 2 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The minority party would have to compromise on a number of its policy priorities and could still end up losing. Garry Kasparov, CNN, 26 Apr. 2022 But their lightweight construction doesn't compromise on durability, according to reviewers. Emily Belfiore, Travel + Leisure, 23 Apr. 2022 But Something’s got to give, and in a tight labor market beset by widespread labor shortages, companies will likely need to compromise or be willing to lose staffers, experts say. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 19 May 2021 Ritter said that both legislators and Lamont will need to compromise in order to pass the two-year, $46 billion budget and tax package in the coming weeks as the legislature faces adjournment on June 9. Christopher Keating, courant.com, 2 May 2021 At the strategic level, the climate movement probably has shown a lack of willingness to compromise. Nives Dolsak And Aseem Prakash, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 Those who love architecture, design and the outdoors don’t have to compromise with this estate. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2022 Flexibility and a willingness to compromise paved the way for that positive outcome. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2022 Secretary of State Anthony Blinken hasn’t shown much of a willingness to compromise. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 31 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compromise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of compromise

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for compromise

Noun and Verb

Middle English, mutual promise to abide by an arbiter's decision, from Anglo-French compromisse, from Latin compromissum, from neuter of compromissus, past participle of compromittere to promise mutually, from com- + promittere to promise — more at promise

Learn More About compromise

Time Traveler for compromise

Time Traveler

The first known use of compromise was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near compromise

compromis

compromise

compromised

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Statistics for compromise

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Compromise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compromise. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for compromise

compromise

noun
com·​pro·​mise | \ ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz How to pronounce compromise (audio) \

Kids Definition of compromise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an agreement over a dispute reached by each side changing or giving up some demands After much argument, they finally reached a compromise.
2 : something agreed upon as a result of each side changing or giving up some demands Our compromise is to take turns with the toy.

compromise

verb
compromised; compromising

Kids Definition of compromise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to settle by agreeing that each side will change or give up some demands
2 : to expose to risk, suspicion, or disgrace A spy can compromise national security.

compromise

transitive verb
com·​pro·​mise | \ ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz How to pronounce compromise (audio) \
compromised; compromising

Medical Definition of compromise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause the impairment of certain chemical agents may compromise placental function a compromised immune system

compromise

noun

Medical Definition of compromise (Entry 2 of 2)

: the condition of having been compromised : impairment cardiovascular compromise patients at risk for airway compromise— David Jaffe et al.

compromise

noun
com·​pro·​mise

Legal Definition of compromise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an agreement resolving differences by mutual concessions especially to prevent or end a lawsuit

compromise

verb
compromised; compromising

Legal Definition of compromise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to resolve or dispose of by a compromise cases in which a dispute is compromised— E. A. Farnsworth and W. F. Young

intransitive verb

: to enter into a compromise

More from Merriam-Webster on compromise

Nglish: Translation of compromise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compromise for Arabic Speakers

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