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 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 Coworking is an awesome compromise between fully remote and in-office, which is why the coworking space industry is expected to boom in the wake of the pandemic. Ashley Stahl, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 Since all the processing is done on the device, Apple says there’s no compromise to the company’s end-to-end encryption system, and users are still secure from eavesdropping. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, 12 Aug. 2021 The city added that the incident is classified as a data compromise, which requires notification to Dallas’ executive leadership team. Kelli Smith, Dallas News, 12 Aug. 2021 In recent days, local, state and national teachers unions have started to embrace the compromise, which ensures educators would not face disciplinary action if they are not vaccinated. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Aug. 2021 To win the compromise, Democrats and Biden — who had initially proposed a $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan — had to make major concessions. BostonGlobe.com, 10 Aug. 2021 Over the past year, the story of Ramon Abbas, known in Nigeria as Hushpuppi, has raised attention to the prevalence of business email compromise (BEC) scams around the world. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 9 Aug. 2021 Some conditions -- including autoimmune diseases, transplants and cancer treated with chemotherapy -- compromise people's immune systems. Camille Furst, CNN, 8 Aug. 2021 No plans to reintroduce the hybrid compromise, where teachers simultaneously instruct online and in front of a class of students. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, 4 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Another pair of viral proteins compromise export of all cellular proteins, ensuring that any warning signals made by an infected cell will not alert neighboring cells to the trouble nearby. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 Physics doesn’t compromise or negotiate or hold back. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 30 Aug. 2021 Marijuana smoke can also compromise the immune system, and there’s a growing amount of scientific literature indicating a significant correlation between any form of cannabis consumption and psychosis. Aron Ravin, National Review, 14 Aug. 2021 One slip could compromise this unlikely second chapter 35 years in the making. CNN, 11 Aug. 2021 For instance, a repair technician could compromise information on a consumer’s smartphone. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, 21 July 2021 According to Wilk, an ACL tear can compromise joint proprioception. Washington Post, 6 July 2021 Yes, comparing hashes of watchlist images with user images could lead to false positives, and yes, there is a far-fetched risk that the system could be abused to compromise users’ photo albums. Zak Doffman, Forbes, 4 Sep. 2021 Most immediately, Qatar is pressing the Taliban to compromise in a disagreement over who will operate and secure Kabul’s’ international airport. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 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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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

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compromise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compromise. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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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 : endanger
: to damage or weaken (something) : impair

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

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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