Definition of compromise in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkämprəˌmīz/


1An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions: an ability to listen to two sides in a dispute, and devise a compromise acceptable to both the secret of a happy marriage is compromise
More example sentences
  • Surely with a little flexibility on both sides, it should be possible to reach an acceptable compromise.
  • This is not a compromise or agreement, it is just being mealy-mouthed.
  • Trade agreements always involve painful compromises, which are difficult for politicians to swallow in a climate of hostility.
1.1A middle state between conflicting opinions or actions reached by mutual concession or modification: a compromise between commercial appeal and historical interest
More example sentences
  • Nothing is as simple as turning on and off a light, and thus Cure and Se7en offer a bad compromise between impossible alternatives.
  • They are obviously the result of a difficult compromise between conflicting landlord and tenant interests.
  • The new ultra stiff chassis gives the perfect compromise between sporty dynamics and comfortable compliance.
1.2The acceptance of standards that are lower than is desirable: sexism should be tackled without compromise


1 [no object] Settle a dispute by mutual concession: in the end we compromised and deferred the issue
More example sentences
  • You may have to compromise in litigation or disputes.
  • Though you can be stubborn at times, bring yourself to compromise in disputes.
  • You get along well with others because you don't make undue demands and your willingness to compromise often brings the concessions you want.
meet each other halfway, come to an understanding, make a deal, make concessions, find a happy medium, strike a balance;
give and take
1.1 [with object] archaic Settle (a dispute) by mutual concession: I should compromise the matter with my father
More example sentences
  • The first dispute was compromised in the United States as long ago as 1911.
  • The matter was eventually compromised by way of negotiation culminating in the Consent Order.
2 [no object] Accept standards that are lower than is desirable: we were not prepared to compromise on safety
More example sentences
  • The hands-on publisher has succeeded by refusing to compromise on production standards - and paying attention to a changing Asia.
  • I don't think we should compromise on those standards.
  • That means we don't have to compromise on standards, and the parts are designed to work together as a unit.
2.1 [with object] Weaken (a reputation or principle) by accepting standards that are lower than is desirable: commercial pressures could compromise safety
More example sentences
  • To do so without challenge is to seriously compromise the integrity of The Peak.
  • Rubato is used very sparingly, and forward flow is not compromised for the sake of expression.
  • We must never compromise safety in our search for a solution.
undermine, weaken, damage, harm;
jeopardize, prejudice;
discredit, dishonor, shame, embarrass
3 [with object] Bring into disrepute or danger by indiscreet, foolish, or reckless behavior: situations in which his troops could be compromised
More example sentences
  • The danger of compromising his position of authority is one reason for not getting too close.
  • Celtic's easy superiority can lead to an environment in which famous, wealthy young men become complacent and allow their behaviour to be compromised.
  • Where is the president's anger that his administration has been compromised by behavior he claims to believe is unacceptable?
3.1Cause to become vulnerable or function less effectively: yo-yo dieting can compromise your immune system last month’s leak of source code will not compromise your IT security
More example sentences
  • On the flip side, what many wireless users don't realize is that going wireless can compromise their network's security.
  • For example, people with compromised immune systems probably should avoid Enterococcus bacteria, some species of which are associated with nosocomial, or hospital-acquired, infections.
  • It found that 83 per cent of the financial services operators surveyed had had their IT systems compromised in some way within the last year.



Example sentences
  • But she was happy to use and bolster her own image for party advantage, and that image was of a battling, indomitable leader surrounded by weaklings, faint hearts and compromisers.
  • They have ‘rethought’ the old paths, renounced the idea of a perfect Bible, and have associated with compromisers and apostates.
  • No, the problem comes from a steady diet, week after week, and year after year, of images of politicians as liars, cheats, compromisers and fools.


Late Middle English (denoting mutual consent to arbitration): from Old French compromis, from late Latin compromissum 'a consent to arbitration', neuter past participle of compromittere, from com- 'together' + promittere (see promise).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·pro·mise

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