Meaning of compromise


A compromise is a way of settling differences by everybody making concessions. If you want to stay out until 10 and your friend wants to stay out until midnight, 11 is a good compromise.

Compromise comes from the Latin compromissum, which means “mutual promise.” It can be a noun or a verb. If you compromise with your lab partner over how to analyze the experimental data, you find the middle ground between your two ideas. Compromise can also mean to erode or diminish. If you never repair your brakes, you will compromise the safety of the car. If you cheat, you compromise your integrity.

Definitions of compromise
  1. noun

    an accommodation in which both sides make concessions

    “the newly elected congressmen rejected a
    compromise because they considered it `business as usual’”
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    Missouri Compromise

    an agreement in 1820 between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States concerning the extension of slavery into new territories
    type of:


    a settlement of differences

  2. noun

    a middle way between two extremes


    via media

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    type of:


    joint operation or action

  3. verb

    make a compromise; arrive at a compromise

    “we all must
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    give and take

    make mutual concessions
    type of:


    achieve harmony of opinion, feeling, or purpose

  4. verb

    settle by concession

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    type of:

    determine, settle, square off, square up

    settle conclusively; come to terms

  5. verb

    expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute

    “The nuclear secrets of the state were
    compromised by the spy”
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    type of:

    endanger, expose, peril, queer, scupper

    put in a dangerous, disadvantageous, or difficult position

Word Family

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