Definition of recompense in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrɛkəmpɛns/


[with object]
1Make amends to (someone) for loss or harm suffered; compensate: offenders should recompense their victims he was recompensed for the wasted time
More example sentences
  • And today we are still fighting to make sure the company makes available enough money to recompense its victims.
  • The council will pay tens of thousands of pounds out to its biggest trade union to recompense staff said to have been distressed over a jobs transfer.
  • In high-profile cases, the tobacco industry has recently paid enormous amounts to recompense individuals damaged by its products.
compensate, indemnify, repay, reimburse, pay money to, make reparation to, make restitution to, make amends to
1.1Pay or reward (someone) for effort or work: he was handsomely recompensed
More example sentences
  • Alpaca farmers will be well recompensed for their efforts in farming these rare animals.
  • Remember if you do something world changing, you are likely to get handsomely recompensed for it.
  • Indeed, even trainers of junior club teams are well recompensed for their input, and few are formally equipped for the role either.
reward, pay, pay back
archaic guerdon
1.2Make amends to or reward someone for (loss, harm, or effort): losses up to £20,000 are recompensed
More example sentences
  • In the first year, the losses will be recompensed by a one-time pay-out.
  • When the costs of crime are assessed, account should be taken of losses recompensed through insurance.
  • In my case, though I cannot walk, this is recompensed with a lot of strength and motivation.
make up for, compensate for, make amends for, make restitution for, make reparation for, redress, make good, satisfy
1.3 archaic Punish or reward (someone) for an action: I will recompense their iniquity


[mass noun]
1Compensation or reward given for loss or harm suffered or effort made: adequate recompense for workers who lose their jobs substantial damages were paid in recompense
More example sentences
  • Instead, everyone who works in the garden can take produce home in recompense for his or her efforts.
  • A letter from the company's lawyers soon brought the newspaper to heel and an appropriate sum in recompense was negotiated, the main beneficiary of which is a local centre for disabled children.
  • In recompense, he was given a free chicken salad sandwich and all the sweets he could eat.
compensation, reparation, restitution, indemnification, indemnity;
reimbursement, repayment, reward, redress, satisfaction;
Latin quid pro quo
archaic guerdon, meed
rare solatium
1.1 archaic Restitution made or punishment inflicted for a wrong or injury.
Example sentences
  • If you do this you will be required to make recompense for your transgression to the political leaders of the parliament.
  • We have to realize that we can make recompense for certain sins, but we cannot make recompense for other things and sins.


Late Middle English: from Old French, from the verb recompenser 'do a favour to requite a loss', from late Latin recompensare, from Latin re- 'again' (also expressing intensive force) + compensare 'weigh one thing against another'.

  • pendant from Middle English:

    This was originally a term for an architectural decoration projecting downwards. It comes from penda(u)nt, an Old French word meaning ‘hanging’, from Latin pendere. The word was used from late Middle English for a jewel attached to clothing but later it was applied to one attached to a necklace. Use of the word for a light fitting hanging from the ceiling dates from the mid 19th century. Pending (mid 17th century) is an anglicization of French pendant. Pendulum (mid 17th century) is taken directly from Latin, as is pendulous (early 17th century). Suspend (Middle English) combined this root with sub- ‘from below’, compensation (Late Middle English) is something that ‘weighs against’ something that has happened, depend (Late Middle English) is ‘hang down’, and recompence (Late Middle English) originally ‘to weigh one thing against another’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rec¦om|pense

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