compromise

noun
com·​pro·​mise | \ ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz How to pronounce compromise (audio) \

Essential Meaning of compromise

1 : 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 the art of political compromise To avoid an argument, always be ready to seek compromise. See More ExamplesBoth boys will have to make compromises if they are to share the room. [=they will each have to give up something in order to get along] The two sides were unable to reach a compromise. [=unable to come to an agreement]Hide
2 : something that combines the qualities of two different things
3 : a change that makes something worse and that is not done for a good reason a director who will not tolerate artistic compromise She says that accepting their proposal would be a compromise of her principles.

Full 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 compromise (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 Instead, Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman and Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp deflected blame on the commission’s two Democrats for failing to reach a compromise. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 22 Oct. 2021 The bill, The Freedom to Vote Act, was an attempt at a compromise among Democrats, after a much broader voter access bill was blocked by Republicans in June and again in August. BostonGlobe.com, 22 Oct. 2021 Despite the division, experts said compromise remains the most effective way to pass changes in the world's greatest deliberative body. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 21 Oct. 2021 Both King Fahd and King Abdullah put forward peace plans to move the Arab consensus towards compromise with Israel. Ian Palmer, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 Now, just weeks before the plan is expected to be taken up by the Los Angeles City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Education, and Neighborhoods Committee, critics are ratcheting up efforts to promote a smaller-scale compromise. Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2021 On Wednesday, Senate Republicans blocked debate on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin's compromise Freedom to Vote Act. Fred Wertheimer And Norman Eisen, CNN, 20 Oct. 2021 Faced with the possibility it could be cut from spending legislation, allies of the White House are trying to salvage it by offering a compromise that would initially give workers four or six weeks off. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 20 Oct. 2021 If the parties can’t reach a compromise, a case file is prepared for a future hearing before a judge. Saeed Shah, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So far the number of workers in New York who have left their jobs is relatively small and does not appear likely to result in the kind of staff shortages that could compromise patient care. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Oct. 2021 Many directors in mainland China do the same thing — produce low-budget movies that don’t compromise on content but can only be screened at festivals abroad. Alice Su, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 One that didn’t compromise on powerful, visible results, but held your hand a bit more. Karina Hoshikawa, refinery29.com, 1 Sep. 2021 Already, the federal government recommends an extra dose for people with specific conditions that compromise their immune system. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, 17 Aug. 2021 The children represented in the lawsuit, including several from Orange and Volusia counties, have been diagnosed with conditions that could compromise their immune systems, such as autism, severe asthma and Down syndrome. Leslie Postal, orlandosentinel.com, 6 Aug. 2021 In other words: clothes that were made in a way that won’t compromise the future of people or the planet. Emily Farra, Vogue, 20 July 2021 But for advocates of college athletes rights, where’s the incentive to compromise? Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 29 Sep. 2021 But centrist Democrats see the overall price tag as too much, while progressive lawmakers are hesitant to compromise any further after already having dropped even more ambitious ideas. Arkansas Online, 25 Sep. 2021

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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Learn More About compromise

Time Traveler for compromise

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near compromise

compromis

compromise

compromised

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Statistics for compromise

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compromise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compromise. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for compromise

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.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on compromise

Nglish: Translation of compromise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compromise for Arabic Speakers

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