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

And with no clear end or compromise in sight, tensions between the leaders of the world’s two biggest economies will probably continue to escalate. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "Trump just intensified his trade war with China," 11 July 2018 And Miller was on Capitol Hill Wednesday and told Republicans the White House is open to the compromise package. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Impact of Trump's immigration vision comes into focus in Washington," 14 June 2018 Life is filled with muddy moral choices, endlessly complicated problems and ugly compromises with hideous people. Caille Millner, SFChronicle.com, "A splash of cold water on straw-ban fervor: Many people with disabilities need them," 13 July 2018 The progression of Willie Stark - who echoes real-life Governor Huey Long - in a downward moral spiral demonstrates how, in politics and life, small compromises of character can add up. Steve Israel, chicagotribune.com, "What's the greatest book about politics? Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and others weigh in.," 12 July 2018 Mrs May’s oddly successful week puts her in a good position to start selling the Chequers compromise. The Economist, "What doesn’t kill her makes Theresa May stronger," 12 July 2018 Silver specifically mentioned Jordan Tuesday when talking about the issues facing the league that would require compromise with the players association. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Could NBA’s secret labor weapon be clear-the-air Jordan? Adam Silver hopes so," 11 July 2018 In theory, such a process could force state legislatures to compromise. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "Ending Roe v. Wade wouldn't end abortion in America. This is what happens next.," 9 July 2018 The party has always been one that favors reasonableness and compromise above all else. Jay Willis, GQ, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won Not Because Her Ideas Are Radical, But Because They're Good," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Riley’s film risks a fair percentage of its potential audience by making Green a conflicted, compromised figure who’s allowed to make his own mistakes. Michael Phillips, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Sci-fi and satire meet in ‘Sorry to Bother You’," 12 July 2018 How child-rearing can both fulfill and paradoxically compromise one’s ability to live one’s best self. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Door County theaters add stories and sparkle to summer nights," 11 July 2018 Another, Dicamba, is a herbicide that has been banned in Arkansas and is known to drift into other areas, compromising non-Monsanto crops. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Monsanto's Roundup Is on Trial. The Charge: Causing Cancer," 10 July 2018 And Wyoming’s compromising skills may have something to do with its size, says Sommers. Story Hinckley, The Christian Science Monitor, "Group effort rules the roost in Wyoming, then Washington intervenes," 10 July 2018 The story of Franklin shows the contradiction that the Cold War posed for the United States: a desire to assert American values abroad, along with the need to compromise those values in a complicated political reality. Amanda Laugesen, Smithsonian, "This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World," 13 July 2018 All the prime minister can hope for is to persuade Brussels to compromise on the principle of indivisibility. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "As clock ticks down, Britain finally reveals its plan for Brexit. What now?," 11 July 2018 And number two, to indicate a willingness to compromise on issues like immigration. Fox News, "Unions brace for fallout from SCOTUS's Janus decision," 8 July 2018 This feeling escalates as the investigation closes in around the witnesses, forcing them to compromise their morals to protect themselves. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "A government official's child rape is swept under the rug in Angels Wear White," 27 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

4 Sep 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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Comments on compromise

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