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as in to compensate
to give (someone) the sum of money owed for goods or services received the cash-strapped museum can recompense lecturers with only token honorariums

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as in to pay
to give what is owed for that company still needs to recompense the work that the contractor finished last month

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as in to reimburse
to provide (someone) with a just payment for loss or injury the government has yet to adequately recompense the property owners for the land taken for the new highway

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as in to repay
to make a return for the wealthy gentleman told the poor little girl she could recompense his generosity simply by enjoying her new toys

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Synonym Chooser

How is the word recompense distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of recompense are compensate, indemnify, pay, reimburse, remunerate, repay, and satisfy. While all these words mean "to give money or its equivalent in return for something," recompense suggests due return in amends, friendly repayment, or reward.

passengers were recompensed for the delay

In what contexts can compensate take the place of recompense?

The words compensate and recompense are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, compensate implies a making up for services rendered.

an attorney well compensated for her services

When would indemnify be a good substitute for recompense?

The synonyms indemnify and recompense are sometimes interchangeable, but indemnify implies making good a loss suffered through accident, disaster, warfare.

indemnified the families of the dead miners

When might pay be a better fit than recompense?

The meanings of pay and recompense largely overlap; however, pay implies the discharge of an obligation incurred.

paid their bills

When can reimburse be used instead of recompense?

In some situations, the words reimburse and recompense are roughly equivalent. However, reimburse implies a return of money that has been spent for another's benefit.

reimbursed employees for expenses

When is it sensible to use remunerate instead of recompense?

The words remunerate and recompense can be used in similar contexts, but remunerate clearly suggests paying for services rendered and may extend to payment that is generous or not contracted for.

promised to remunerate the searchers handsomely

When is repay a more appropriate choice than recompense?

While the synonyms repay and recompense are close in meaning, repay stresses paying back an equivalent in kind or amount.

repay a favor with a favor

Where would satisfy be a reasonable alternative to recompense?

While in some cases nearly identical to recompense, satisfy implies paying a person what is required by law.

all creditors will be satisfied in full

Thesaurus Entries Near recompense

Cite this Entry

“Recompense.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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