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

If the report is true, perhaps this tuxedo dress is a stylish compromise for the royal couple. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Channeled Princess Diana in a Sleek Tuxedo Dress," 29 Aug. 2018 Choosing which women from The Dinner Party to feature for the dinner was a compromise between the food and the history. Lisa Wong Macabasco, Vogue, "What Did Historical Feminist Icons Eat for Dinner?," 30 July 2018 In the wake of criticism from gay-rights groups, Indiana added a compromise measure to its law and Arkansas passed a narrower version of its original bill. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Walmart Takes a Stand on Guns, Gay Rights to Get People to Like It More," 5 July 2018 Lawmakers approved Initiative 940 in March, but in an unprecedented move, first passed a separate bill amending the initiative that was a compromise between activists and police groups. Rachel La Corte, The Seattle Times, "Court weighs lawmakers’ change to deadly force measure," 29 June 2018 Khrosrowshahi has made patching things up with London a major focus of his tenure so far, publicly pleading for compromise with regulators before taking initial steps to mollify them. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Uber Heads to Court to Save Its London License — And A Whole Lot More," 24 June 2018 Two leadership sources said that there had been confusion among lawmakers about the contents of the compromise measure. Rebecca Shabad And Alex Moe /, NBC News, "House rejects conservative immigration bill, delays vote on GOP compromise measure," 21 June 2018 House Republican leaders abruptly postponed voting on a compromise immigration measure amid ongoing infighting between conservatives and moderates. Lisa Mascaro, BostonGlobe.com, "House will delay vote on GOP compromise immigration bill until Friday," 21 June 2018 Republicans in Congress were tentatively planning to offer two bills this week, one that would sharply curtail legal immigration and a compromise measure, as yet not revealed, that could draw criticism from conservatives. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Trump blasts German, European immigration policies that have 'violently changed culture'," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, the company points out that while 21 million accounts were affected, not all accounts were compromised equally. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Timehop’s data breach included more personal user information than originally announced," 11 July 2018 Timehop says the system was compromised for roughly two hours. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Hackers Steal Personal Information of 21 Million Timehop Users," 9 July 2018 Richard Overton, who also served in War War, II had his bank account compromised by thieves last month. Essence.com, "Bank Restores Funds To 112-Year-Old Veteran Whose Money And Identity Was Stolen," 9 July 2018 Reed’s chances of returning to Phoenix may be compromised by the glut of wings on the roster, particularly if the Suns plan to swing Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson to the two-guard spot on occasion. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Marvin Bagley III learning ups and downs of NBA," 8 July 2018 These findings are disconcerting, because European eels in the wild are critically endangered, their future compromised by factors like habitat-loss, dam construction, pollution and over-fishing. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Cocaine in the Water Is Hurting River Eels," 20 June 2018 Warner told the tech elite that their willingness to engage and compromise with Washington will be critical to the industry’s success. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Big Tech Trades Splashy Conference Demos for Introspection," 31 May 2018 Other Republicans, such as New York Representative Peter King, expressed wariness about the bid by conservatives, who’ve pressed the party not to compromise with Democrats. Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg.com, "Ryan Endorses McCarthy as Successor While Conservatives Consider a Bid," 13 Apr. 2018 Other systems for disabled access are within the atrium, compromising the arena’s ability to provide access and exposing it to potential legal action. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "8 Reasons To Buy The Atrium, Other Space Outside Hartford's XL Center Arena Now Rather Than Later," 25 June 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

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

Verb

see compromise entry 1

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Statistics for compromise

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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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