Definition of compensate in English:


Syllabification: com·pen·sate
Pronunciation: /ˈkämpənˌsāt


  • 1 [with object] Give (someone) something, typically money, in recognition of loss, suffering, or injury incurred; recompense: payments were made to farmers to compensate them for cuts in subsidies
    More example sentences
    • If I am injured in body or pocket I expect the person causing that injury to compensate me for any losses that I incur unless it has been a genuine accident.
    • No amount of money will ever truly compensate me for the loss I've suffered, the stress and emotional affect this has had on me.
    • The insurers then claimed the sum from the bus company insurers together with money to compensate me for ‘loss of use’ of the car until I bought a new car in August.
  • 1.1Pay (someone) for work performed: he will be richly compensated for his efforts
    More example sentences
    • Nor does the typical academic journal have sufficient resources to compensate graduate students to perform this task.
    • There are two other contingencies needed in a system that compensates drivers based on performance.
    • Adams thinks people often work more efficiently for their own employer than for a contract job, and that having control over who he hires and how his staff is compensated makes a big difference in performance.
  • 2 [no object] (compensate for) Make up for (something unwelcome or unpleasant) by exerting an opposite force or effect: officials have boosted levies to compensate for huge deficits
    More example sentences
    • They take behavioral steps to compensate for the sleep loss, napping during the day or early evening.
    • A consistent, early wake-up time will force the body to start shutting down earlier to compensate for the lost sleep.
    • For example, a girl's learning disability hides her math talent, and the math talent compensates for her learning disability - so she gets passing, but mediocre, math grades.
  • 2.1Act to neutralize or correct (a deficiency or abnormality in a physical property or effect): the output voltage rises, compensating for the original fall
    More example sentences
    • But to believe that this renders them unusable is to underestimate the skills that most artists would surely have for interpreting, improvising, and compensating for any deficiencies.
    • The title's realistic firefight sound effects partially compensate for this glaring deficiency.
    • Corrections to compensate for the effects of constant errors can be determined from the TFT.
  • 2.2 Psychology Attempt to conceal or offset (a disability or frustration) by development in another direction: they identified with radical movements to compensate for their inability to relate to individual human beings
    More example sentences
    • My issue is that he's compensating for his own missed childhood by appropriating other people's childhoods.
    make amends, make up, make reparation, recompense, atone, requite, pay; expiate, make good, rectify
  • 3 [with object] Mechanics Provide (a pendulum) with extra or less weight to neutralize the effects of temperature, etc..



Pronunciation: /kəmˈpensətiv, ˈkämpənˌsātiv/
More example sentences
  • Repeated chemoembolization can be prescribed for postoperative patients with compensative liver function.
  • This compensative action was insufficient when the glucose concentration was too high.
  • Based on the models, an adaptive temperature compensative control method for a clutch working process was put forward.


Pronunciation: /-ˌsātər/
More example sentences
  • Manufacturers tailor compact, uncooled cameras for airport screening applications by adding temperature compensators, analysis software, or self-calibration capabilities.
  • Problems arise occasionally, but contemporary masks, fins, snorkels, regulators and buoyancy compensators are far better than they were even a few years ago.
  • What I am interested in is determining which stance provides the best all-around control, under duress, using a defensive handgun without benefit of compensators, ports or other gadgets.


mid 17th century (in the sense 'counterbalance'): from Latin compensat- 'weighed against', from the verb compensare, from com- 'together' + pensare (frequentative of pendere 'weigh').

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