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 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

Baseline: your doctor should absolutely know what vascular compromise is and what the early signs of that looks like. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Everything to You Need to Know When Considering a Non-Surgical Nose Job," 11 Mar. 2019 Screen brightness is a notable compromise, with the panels rated at 220 nits to 250 nits—not horrible, but not great. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Lenovo's latest IdeaPads offer Intel, AMD, and an Nvidia mystery," 24 Feb. 2019 Even after months of talking, Amazon’s team and vocal New York critics remained far apart, convincing company executives that compromises would be too hard to achieve. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Amazon’s New York Project Foundered on Labor Organizing, Opposition to Subsidies," 16 Feb. 2019 The offer went higher than the recommendation of an independent fact-finding report that suggested the two sides agree to a compromise 6 percent retroactive raise. Jocelyn Gecker, The Seattle Times, "Oakland teachers to walk off the job Thursday," 20 Feb. 2019 And although the White House eventually came around to bipartisan proposals to very slightly improve background checks and ban bump stocks, the compromises amount to fairly small changes to America’s weak gun laws. German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 2019 Meanwhile, Honda might have gotten a bit too clever with the Clarity PHEV, and Chrysler made a hybrid minivan with few compromises with the Pacifica. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2018 Cars Technica cars and SUVs of the year," 30 Dec. 2018 And gamers have long griped about the heavy compromises demanded by the locked-down Microsoft Store apps. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Do we need another stripped-down version of Windows? Microsoft apparently thinks so," 3 Dec. 2018 Despite, or perhaps because of, the compromises, Oak Ridge succeeded in its mission; on August 6, 1945, President Truman’s voice crackled over the radio to announce the bombing of Hiroshima. Emily Strasser, Curbed, "A secret city opens up," 8 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The breach is one of the largest in history, after recent Yahoo breaches that compromised the accounts of nearly three billion customers. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Marriott breach leaves 500 million exposed with passport, card numbers stolen," 30 Nov. 2018 What other major brands or billionaire donors have leveraged their financial power in ways that have compromised the independence of universities? Sean Illing, Vox, "How corporate cash bought higher education," 14 Nov. 2018 The tea should be unflavored and non-herbal, so avoid chai or ginger, which could contain flavors or oils that'll compromise your batch. Allison Young, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Your Own Homemade Kombucha," 19 July 2018 The disease causes a mild fever-like syndrome that can permanently compromise organ function if left untreated. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Tiny Trackers Could Help Humans Avoid Kissing Bugs’ Deadly Smooch," 9 July 2018 The one thing the Sixers can’t afford to do is hand out a multi-year deal that compromises their outlook for the 2019 offseason. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Sixers NBA free agency primer: Targets, budget, depth chart | David Murphy," 30 June 2018 The manufacturer cited in the suit, Chart Industries of Georgia, issued a recall notice for tanks on April 23, acknowledging the potential for vacuum leak or failure that could compromise the products. Catherine Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "Lawsuit: Maker of failed tank at SF fertility clinic has recalled other products," 1 June 2018 The personal information that could have been compromised includes names, member identification numbers and dates of birth. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, "LifeBridge data breach exposes personal information of 500,000," 22 May 2018 But the cornerstone of all this is toothpaste—the single product that can protect teeth, minimize decay, and eliminate the bacteria that compromise gums and breath. Adam Hurly, GQ, "The Best Toothpaste for Removing Stains, Fixing Your Breath, and Not Getting Gingivitis," 27 Apr. 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 Mar 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 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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