compromise

noun
com·​pro·​mise | \ ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz \

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 a compromised immune system a seriously compromised patient
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

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Other Words from compromise

Verb

compromiser 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ariana was not pleased with that compromise, as Variety's source clarified that no other performer had to abide by those conditions. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ariana Grande Is Reportedly Not Attending the Grammys Because She Was "Insulted" by Producers," 7 Feb. 2019 In what presumably was a compromise between the two sides Booker got his money and Phoenix got a straight five-year deal rather than a player option for the 2023-24 season. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Suns, Devin Booker both benefit from five-year, $158 million deal," 8 July 2018 Centrist Democrats huddled with Republicans on Thursday night to try to find a compromise to pitch to leadership. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Wall Impasse Frustrates Many Newly Elected House Democrats," 13 Jan. 2019 And anyone who used the app to receive incoming connections from untrusted users should consider closely examining their servers for signs of compromise. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open," 17 Oct. 2018 Söder suggested that the party would be better served finding a compromise rather than breaking the coalition. James Mcauley, Washington Post, "Germany’s Angela Merkel may have won fight over migration, but her coalition is in doubt," 2 July 2018 To sort matters out, the council held a hearing last week to reconsider the ordinance and voted to form a committee to find a compromise. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Concerts at winery strike sour note with neighbors in McCordsville," 22 June 2018 House Republicans will meet again Tuesday to try to find an immigration compromise -- with no resolution in sight that would unite the party’s divided factions -- as a group of GOP moderates are on the verge of forcing votes on various plans. Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg.com, "House GOP Meets Again on Immigration as Deal Remains Elusive," 12 June 2018 This is a good way to meet halfway and find a compromise. Christen A. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "How to tell your neighbor off-leash dog scares you," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The ultimate goal is to get a hold of compromising or embarrassing information that can be used as a bargaining chip or to discredit an individual’s character or motives. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Much Does It Cost to Keep Your Name Out of the News?," 18 Jan. 2019 XXXTentacion fired back by posting photos that appeared to show Drake, most likely a lookalike, in a compromising position in February. 5. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "What to Know About XXXTentacion, the 20-Year-Old Rapper Shot Dead in Florida," 18 June 2018 But a stock sale leaves the opaque company more exposed to outside forces, a compromising position for a political beast with a powerful hand over prices at the pump. Stanley Reed, New York Times, "An Oil Giant Is Taking Big Steps. Saudi Arabia Can’t Afford for It to Slip.," 16 June 2018 The 58-year-old has previously apologized after being caught on camera picking his nose or in other compromising positions during games. Ciaran Fahey, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup Countdown: defending champions Germany aim for historic repeat," 2 June 2018 If a single site that uses this password falls, every account that uses it is compromised. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "You Should Be Using a Password Manager," 17 Jan. 2019 The data compromised included people's names, addresses, card information and the security code printed on the card that's needed for online purchases. Teresa Dixon Murray, cleveland.com, "Malley's Chocolates' website hacked, 3,400 online customers' card information breached," 10 May 2018 One serious misstep and this entire process could have been compromised perhaps irretrievably. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Read Brian Mulroney's Moving Eulogy at George H.W. Bush's Funeral," 5 Dec. 2018 Any data imported from another social network, such as contacts and demographic information, could have been compromised as well. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Quora data breach FAQ: What 100 million hacked users need to know," 4 Dec. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for compromise

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compromise

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

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More Definitions for compromise

compromise

noun

English Language Learners Definition of compromise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a way of reaching agreement in which each person or group gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or dispute
: something that combines the qualities of two different things
: a change that makes something worse and that is not done for a good reason

compromise

verb

English Language Learners Definition of compromise (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give up something that you want in order to reach an agreement : to settle differences by means of a compromise
: to expose (something) to risk or danger
: to damage or weaken (something)

compromise

noun
com·​pro·​mise | \ ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz \

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 \
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

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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

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