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[kom-pruh-mahyz] /ˈkɒm prəˌmaɪz/
a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.
the result of such a settlement.
something intermediate between different things:
The split-level is a compromise between a ranch house and a multistoried house.
an endangering, especially of reputation; exposure to danger, suspicion, etc.:
a compromise of one's integrity.
verb (used with object), compromised, compromising.
to settle by a compromise.
to expose or make vulnerable to danger, suspicion, scandal, etc.; jeopardize:
a military oversight that compromised the nation's defenses.
  1. to bind by bargain or agreement.
  2. to bring to terms.
verb (used without object), compromised, compromising.
to make a compromise or compromises:
The conflicting parties agreed to compromise.
to make a dishonorable or shameful concession:
He is too honorable to compromise with his principles.
Origin of compromise
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Anglo-French compromisse, Middle French compromis < Latin comprōmissum. See com-, promise
Related forms
compromiser, noun
compromisingly, adverb
[kom-prom-uh-ser-ee] /kɒmˈprɒm əˌsɛr i/ (Show IPA),
noncompromising, adjective
procompromise, adjective
quasi-compromising, adjective
quasi-compromisingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for compromiser
Historical Examples
  • Each girl is a compromiser, Undine being the boldest; she did a lot of shifting and indulged in much cowardly evasion.

    Ivory Apes and Peacocks James Huneker
  • The dogmatist has called the great Emancipator a compromiser.

  • "Dizzy," he said, was not a compromiser; if he had opponents, he recognized them as such and never sought to placate them.

    Under Four Administrations Oscar S. Straus
  • He is not a compromiser, but a combatant, and his blows have been telling ones.

    The Old World and Its Ways William Jennings Bryan
  • If the maxim of the compromiser were sound, it ought to be capable of universal application.

    On Compromise John Morley
  • I'm not naturally a trimmer and a compromiser--but, poor Honora!

    The Precipice Elia Wilkinson Peattie
  • War will start up every man whose livelihood hangs upon trade, intensifying him into a compromiser.

    The Bull-Run Rout Edward Henry Clement
  • Yet in his rôle of compromiser, Douglas made much of this vote.

    Stephen A. Douglas Allen Johnson
  • I am no compromiser, no treaty-maker, no haggler, no beggar.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • But at such times Basine revealed his interesting talents as a compromiser, fence straddler, pacifier.

    Gargoyles Ben Hecht
British Dictionary definitions for compromiser


settlement of a dispute by concessions on both or all sides
the terms of such a settlement
something midway between two or more different things
an exposure of one's good name, reputation, etc, to injury
to settle (a dispute) by making concessions
(transitive) to expose (a person or persons) to disrepute
(transitive) to prejudice unfavourably; weaken: his behaviour compromised his chances
(transitive) (obsolete) to pledge mutually
Derived Forms
compromiser, noun
compromisingly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French compromis, from Latin comprōmissum mutual agreement to accept the decision of an arbiter, from comprōmittere, from prōmittere to promise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for compromiser



early 15c., "a joint promise to abide by an arbiter's decision," from Middle French compromis (13c.), from Latin compromissus, past participle of compromittere "to make a mutual promise" (to abide by the arbiter's decision), from com- "together" (see com-) + promittere (see promise). The main modern sense of "a coming to terms" is from extension to the settlement itself (late 15c.).


mid-15c., from compromise (n.). Related: Compromised; compromising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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