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

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Other Words from compromise

Verb

compromiser \ ˈkäm-​prə-​ˌmī-​zər How to pronounce compromiser (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The compromises required on these issues will need to be made by top politicians from a number of nations. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "How Trump’s Tariff Threats Are Hustling Global Tax Reform," 3 Feb. 2020 One compromise would be securing a School House Grande Loft or Rectory Classic Room at Hotel Peter & Paul before it’s too late. Andrew Parks, Condé Nast Traveler, "Everything You Need to Know about Mardi Gras in New Orleans This Year," 31 Jan. 2020 Former senior civil servants and academics have told NBC News that this second phase will be the toughest part of Brexit yet, with the U.K. forced to make concessions and compromises along the way on trade and security. NBC News, "Key GOP senator a 'no' on witnesses, coronavirus sparks travel warnings, and this year's Super Bowl ads: The Morning Rundown," 31 Jan. 2020 One compromise the government has been able to make is offering amnesty to militants, among them many young people who joined the groups under threat of execution. Nicolas Niarchos, Time, "Boko Haram Refugees Find Safety in Niger. But How Long Can the Country Remain a Safe Haven in the Sahel?," 30 Jan. 2020 The logistics of such a design have already proven challenging to the point of requiring compromise. Mike Hume, Washington Post, "Coronavirus threatens to upend Overwatch League’s plans for international debut," 29 Jan. 2020 Dolan had proposed 250% and the compromise released Monday set it at 300%. Patrick O'donnell, cleveland, "Midnight vote by Ohio Senate aims to trim vouchers one way, boost them another," 29 Jan. 2020 The Turbo S's standard 18-way power-adjustable sport seats are mounted low enough that the Taycan dodges the common EV compromise wherein even cars have the seating position of a crossover. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "Porsche's Taycan Turbo S Redefines Quick for Performance Sedans," 29 Jan. 2020 Heinicke, by contrast, is losing patience with the endless political compromises that can waylay a big transportation project. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "With cars banned on SF’s Market Street, top official eyes next target: Valencia," 28 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Security was not compromised and banks did not insist that the government require the public to continue to use tellers. Harlan M. Krumholz, STAT, "An ‘Epic’ pushback as U.S. prepares for new era of empowering patient health data," 27 Jan. 2020 All in all, no sibling has to compromise for the other, and the family gets to maximize fun time. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana Is the Best Place to Travel With a Baby and a Sibling," 10 Jan. 2020 The district, however, refused to pay — and so far has been able to fix 90%-95% of the problem without compromising personal data. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Superintendent of Richmond Community Schools accused of mistreating employees," 7 Jan. 2020 The fact that people are compromising their health to make ends meet should be more than enough to prompt better policies and health benefits for people whose employers don’t offer sick-day benefits. Allison Hope, Quartz at Work, "Why American workers are especially at risk during flu season," 6 Jan. 2020 This incredibly thin tempered glass screen protector (just .33mm thick) safeguards your console without compromising your graphics or touchscreen responsiveness. Popular Science, "The latest and greatest accessories for your Nintendo Switch," 2 Jan. 2020 And resist the temptation to while away the time between flashes by looking at your phone—the bright screen will compromise your night vision for another 20 minutes. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, "The First Meteor Shower of 2020 Is About to Hit… With Fireballs!," 2 Jan. 2020 In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process. Allegra Kirkland, Teen Vogue, "Here Are the Articles of Impeachment Against Trump—and Why They Matter," 10 Dec. 2019 Dolphins victories will bring temporary joy and could lead to permanent pain if draft position is compromised. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins topple Eagles to win third game of season, lose chance to move up to No. 3 in NFL draft order," 1 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for compromise

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for compromise

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Compromise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compromiser. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for compromise

compromise

noun
How to pronounce compromise (audio)

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 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

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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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