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 Buttigieg argued that Sanders is too divisive and holds positions that are outside the mainstream and allow for zero compromise. Author: Matt Viser, Sean Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News, "Candidates refocus attacks on Trump as New Hampshire primary looms," 11 Feb. 2020 Politicians around the world will need to make difficult compromises if the project is to succeed. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "How Trump’s Tariff Threats Are Hustling Global Tax Reform," 3 Feb. 2020 Politicians are individuals who often have to make compromises. Sara Li, Teen Vogue, "Don't Stan Presidential Candidates the Way You Stan BTS," 15 Jan. 2020 Negotiators searched in Madrid for a compromise to limit the extent of the allowances Australia could claim, but the language would have been attached to the last outstanding piece of the Paris rulebook dealing with emissions trading. Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, "As Fires Rage, Australia Pushes to Emit More Carbon," 6 Jan. 2020 And everybody had to make some compromises to make sure that didn’t happen. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Democratic Senator Chris Murphy on Trump’s Impeachment Trial," 18 Dec. 2019 When they are torn between all of their choices and have to make compromises. Jen Mcguire, Good Housekeeping, "I'm an Empty Nester Now, and Truthfully, I Like Christmas Better Now That My Kids Are Grown," 16 Dec. 2019 But the only way that can happen is if one party is prepared to make significant compromises. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "After Boris Johnson’s stunning election victory, what’s next for Brexit?," 15 Dec. 2019 As UNESCO’s affiliation with Aalst seems to be nearing an end, one of the parade’s harshest critics, the Belgian-Jewish activist Rudi Roth, extended an olive branch and an offer for a compromise. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, "Belgian parade that mocked Jews gives up its UNESCO endorsement," 4 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the span of 48 hours this week, the president has sought to protect his friends and punish his foes, even at the risk of compromising the Justice Department's independence and integrity - a stance that his defenders see as entirely justified. Author: Philip Rucker, Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump seeks to bend the executive branch as part of impeachment vendetta," 13 Feb. 2020 But then its own data experts realized that making the data available could compromise the privacy of a significant portion of its 2 billion users. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Researchers finally get access to data on Facebook’s role in political discourse," 13 Feb. 2020 Past gaming laptops often compromised on battery life, graphics, and processing speed, but the latest devices perform almost as well as desktop gaming computers, thanks to updated processors, SSDs, and graphic cards. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, "The 6 Best Gaming Laptops of 2020," 13 Feb. 2020 There are other factors that compromise the financial wellbeing of survivors. Alejandra Y. Castillo, refinery29.com, "Why Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Survivors Need Paid Family Leave Now," 10 Feb. 2020 Some of Facebook's official social media accounts were temporarily hijacked by a firm that has compromised accounts belonging to other high-profile tech companies. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "'Even Facebook is hackable': Social networking website's Twitter page was compromised," 10 Feb. 2020 The Justice Department has charged four members of the Chinese military with the 2017 hack at the credit reporting agency Equifax, a massive data breach that compromised the personal information of nearly half of all Americans. Washington Post, "Justice Dept. charges four members of Chinese military in connection with 2017 hack at Equifax," 10 Feb. 2020 If different parties control different branches of government, and the parties are polarized, instead of compromise the legislative process breaks down. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "American democracy is dying," 7 Feb. 2020 But scandals involving deadly infant milk powder, fake seaweed, and fraudulent shrimp have undermined the modernization efforts by compromising consumers' confidence in mass food production. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Coronavirus, bird flu, swine fever: Why China is still so susceptible to disease outbreaks," 6 Feb. 2020

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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Statistics for compromise

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Compromise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compromise. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for compromise

compromise

noun
How to pronounce compromise (audio)

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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