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

The former intelligence officials that spoke with Yahoo believe that the compromise of CIA assets may have been worldwide. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How did Iran find CIA spies? They Googled it," 2 Nov. 2018 Of course, the negative is also true—a compromise can be the worst of both worlds. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Hatchbacks Aren't Dead, They're Just Weird Small Crossovers Now," 30 Aug. 2018 The biggest compromise is in its price, which is hundreds of dollars more than what the very-similar Galaxy S9 Plus sells for right now. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: more, more, more," 17 Aug. 2018 The 2015 greater sage-grouse plan proved that compromise between industry, conservation, and landowners was possible – an example of when US policymaking works. Story Hinckley, The Christian Science Monitor, "Group effort rules the roost in Wyoming, then Washington intervenes," 10 July 2018 The best hope for a bipartisan compromise may be in the Senate, where the unlikely duo of Cruz and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "Congress leaves town without voting on fix to stop family separations at border," 29 June 2018 The language of the scooter compromise was not final as of Wednesday, council members said. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "Now that electric scooters are all over Indianapolis, they're not going away," 28 June 2018 There is nothing ambiguous about the situation, but since Miriam never pressed charges and Antoine is an otherwise upstanding fellow, the state in its wisdom decides that compromise is the fairest way forward. Xavier Legrand, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Custody,’ a Father Terrorizes His Family," 27 June 2018 While a compromise may be weeks away, there were signs Tuesday that some key senators are open to negotiation. Erik Wasson, Bloomberg.com, "Trump to Pressure GOP Senators Not to Sanction China's ZTE," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 On Thursday, Marriott—which merged with Starwood in 2016 to create the world's largest hotel company—revealed that the personal information of up to 500 million Starwood guests had been compromised by hackers. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Marriott Data Breach: What to Do If You've Been Affected," 30 Nov. 2018 Originally unveiled in beta in June, Firefox Monitor scans the web for email addresses that have been compromised in various hacks. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Firefox Now Lets You Know When You've Been Hacked," 25 Sep. 2018 In order to remain solvent, the Greek government has had to compromise its sovereignty to the Troika. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Think the U.S. is at odds? Consider Greece.," 26 June 2018 To the best of our knowledge at this time only debit and credit card information may have been compromised. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Goodyear says bill-pay system may have been compromised," 8 May 2018 Many are young folks who have been on the front lines of social change and protests and refuse to compromise their politics for the sake of liberalism. Clarissa Brooks, Teen Vogue, "Nonvoters Have Valid Criticisms of the United States Government," 16 Nov. 2018 In Colorado, a state rocked by the 1999 Columbine High School and 2012 Aurora theater mass shootings, lawmakers in the divided Legislature refused to compromise. Ryan J. Foley, Fox News, "AP: Despite shootings, states return to familiar patterns," 26 Sep. 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

9 Jan 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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