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

Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador both had expressed reserved optimism that a compromise was possible earlier Friday. Noah Bierman, latimes.com, "U.S. and Mexico strike a deal on migration, staving off Trump's tariff plan," 7 June 2019 That’s the difference between the $5 billion Donald Trump has turned into a red line for his border wall, and up to $1.6 billion for border security more broadly that congressional Democrats and Republicans had been discussing as a compromise. Dara Lind, Vox, "Slats, fences, and wall, explained: what exactly the shutdown fight is about," 21 Dec. 2018 There was no compromise of our hosting, DNS, website or systems and no exposure of any of our or customer data. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "When a network intel provider’s domain serves fraudulent content, something is wrong," 15 Nov. 2018 This would be a good compromise between allowing police to be present while also allowing minorities consistently oppressed by the police to feel safe. Devlyn Camp, Chicago Reader, "Perspective / News / LGBTQ+ Pride double standard? Bars upset after police forced some to close early after parade," 29 June 2018 One of those is meant to be a compromise with moderate Republicans. Matt Viser, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump reverses course after outcry over separating children from parents," 21 June 2018 My kids love lemonade, and mixing tea and lemonade together is a happy compromise. Anna Thomas Bates, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Instead of lemonade, try a hibiscus-lime Arnold Palmer," 20 June 2018 But the version that passed last month was a compromise. Klint Finley, WIRED, "This Week Shows How Hard It Is to Curb Big Tech," 13 June 2018 Without the pressure of having to make the money back, Valencia would be much more willing compromise with the Old Lady, and may even consider the arrival of Pjaca - or another loan deal for the defender. SI.com, "Valencia Reject Second Bid From Juventus For In-Demand Full Back Joao Cancelo," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And federal investigators have uncovered a stunning bribery scandal that compromised the admissions process at several prominent universities. The Washington Post, nola.com, "SAT’s new adversity score system faces its own adversity," 4 June 2019 Be willing to compromise so both of you are satisfied. Gigi Engle, SELF, "I'm a Sex Coach, and I Swear By Scheduling Sex in Relationships," 19 May 2019 Prices have risen to their highest level since July this week and are up 12% for the year, boosted by Chinese stimulus efforts and signs that the U.S. and China are willing to compromise on trade. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Copper Resumes Rally on Trade Optimism," 22 Feb. 2019 Democrats, emboldened after the midterm elections and the recent shutdown fight, see little evidence of a president willing to compromise. Julie Pace, The Seattle Times, "Trump to call for unity, face skepticism in State of Union," 4 Feb. 2019 Russia, which has seen its ties with Turkey grow amid Ankara's ongoing row with Washington, may be willing to compromise to protect the budding relationship. Zeina Karam, Fox News, "Iran summit seeks to avert a bloodbath in northwestern Syria," 6 Sep. 2018 To not compromise their integrity or their identity to fit in with some kind of social norm. Chelsea Greenwood Lassman, Teen Vogue, ""The Innocents" Star Sorcha Groundsell on Why Playing a Teenage Shape-Shifter Is About Women's Autonomy," 27 Aug. 2018 Third, leaders are willing to compromise and recognize what is good for all. kansascity, "Jean Paul Bradshaw," 30 June 2018 The party leadership seems willing to compromise for a shot at power. The Economist, "Why Labour is obsessed with Greek politics," 28 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 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

12 Jun 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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Comments on compromise

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