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 so my mom found a compromise: white canvas slip-on Keds, which came in a wide width and made my duck feet look surprisingly narrow, thanks to their minimalist design. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: My White Slip-On Keds," 3 Oct. 2018 Everyone makes compromises to achieve success, but now, these choices may feel more like sacrifices. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Aquarius Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018 Some other maps, like the Robinson projection, attempt a compromise, sacrificing some accuracy for a better appearance. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Feast Your Eyes on "Equal Earth," the New and More Accurate World Map," 5 Sep. 2018 Privacy - Terms Prices begin at $64,750 (plus $1,295 freight) for the two-wheel-drive model, providing luxury-minded buyers a well-equipped family hauler that makes no compromises on performance or safety. star-telegram, "Infiniti QX80 full-size luxury SUV brings elegance, technology to the family hauler," 30 June 2018 Critics say that by granting the meeting, Trump has already made a concession, whereas Kim has made no real compromises on his opening bargaining stance. Jamie Tarabay, CNN, "How Trump and Kim made it to 'hello'," 9 June 2018 Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee appeared skeptical that Harris would be willing to make compromises to get the Democrats on board for his sales tax proposal. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "Louisiana House committee votes down governor's sales tax proposal," 24 May 2018 No wonder Republicans and Democrats cannot bring themselves to make the compromises upon which the healthy functioning of American democracy depends. The Economist, "The primeval tribalism of American politics," 24 May 2018 Perhaps this is a way of mitigating against that and trying to come to a compromise. Fox News, "Kevin Hassett talks corporate tax cut, rising wages," 24 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Outdoor System is compromised of a Gear Pouch, Shoulder Pouch, Cooler Insert, and 25-liter Wet/Dry Insert. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "‘The world’s most versatile waterproof backpack’ review," 20 Nov. 2018 The dynamic of that contest has left both lawmakers eager to prove their conservative bona fides and potentially less willing to compromise with Democrats. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Lame-Duck Congress Raises Prospect of Stalemate on Border Wall," 7 Nov. 2018 Yahoo reported that a similar system used to manage Chinese sources was also compromised, leading to the arrest and execution of another approximately 30 people working on behalf of the US between 2011 and 2012. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How did Iran find CIA spies? They Googled it," 2 Nov. 2018 To compromise with Democrats, the budget deal also hiked up funding for domestic programs. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Trump blamed disaster relief funding for the deficit. It’s mostly the tax cuts.," 19 Oct. 2018 All that will increase pressure on Washington to compromise with Pyongyang — providing the incentives Kim seeks, even if the weapons capabilities he's amassed violate international law. Matthew Pennington, Fox News, "Some see signs of hope on North Korea as Trump heads to UN," 22 Sep. 2018 However, the company points out that while 21 million accounts were affected, not all accounts were compromised equally. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Timehop’s data breach included more personal user information than originally announced," 11 July 2018 Timehop says the system was compromised for roughly two hours. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Hackers Steal Personal Information of 21 Million Timehop Users," 9 July 2018 Richard Overton, who also served in War War, II had his bank account compromised by thieves last month. Essence.com, "Bank Restores Funds To 112-Year-Old Veteran Whose Money And Identity Was Stolen," 9 July 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

11 Dec 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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