- to recompense for something: They gave him ten dollars to compensate him for his trouble.
- to counterbalance; offset; be equivalent to: He compensated his homely appearance with great personal charm.
- Mechanics. to counterbalance (a force or the like); adjust or construct so as to offset or counterbalance variations or produce equilibrium.
- to change the gold content of (a monetary unit) to counterbalance price fluctuations and thereby stabilize its purchasing power.
- to provide or be an equivalent; make up; make amends (usually followed by for): His occasional courtesies did not compensate for his general rudeness.
- Psychology. to develop or employ mechanisms of compensation.
Origin of compensate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for compensate on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for compensating
My sugar daddies were chivalrous and respectful, but when someone is compensating you for your time, a power dynamic emerges.Sugar Daddy Dating Sites: Helen Croydon on Her Guilty Fantasy
May 11, 2013
A portion of the proposed increase would thus be compensating for the continuing real decline in the minimum wage.Don’t Cheap Out, Big Biz!
February 13, 2013
Switching up sexual orientation is a cunning way of compensating for flagging sales and aging characters.Green Lantern Going Gay to Help Boost Stagnant Comic Book Business
June 5, 2012
There are compensating advantages, like access to an extraordinary fleet of armor-plated vehicles.Give Him His Well-Deserved Break
July 17, 2010
With Bernard Madoff in jail, the process of compensating his victims now begins.Madoff Victims' Gibraltar Money Grab
March 18, 2009
The periodic or compensating errors of the planets is another instance.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
On the other hand, the compensating quality of directness was.Little Miss Grouch
Samuel Hopkins Adams
It is the drawback, not the compensating fact, that is talked of always.A Pair of Blue Eyes
This is, no doubt, not so powerful as a telescope, but it has some compensating advantages.The Story of the Heavens
Robert Stawell Ball
The misery that followed this incident had one compensating factor.A Far Country, Complete
- to make amends to (someone), esp for loss or injury
- (tr) to serve as compensation or damages for (injury, loss, etc)
- to offset or counterbalance the effects of (a force, weight, movement, etc) so as to nullify the effects of an undesirable influence and produce equilibrium
- (intr) to attempt to conceal or offset one's shortcomings by the exaggerated exhibition of qualities regarded as desirable
Word Origin and History for compensating
1640s, "to be equivalent;" 1650s, "to counterbalance, make up for," from Latin compensatus, past participle of compensare "to weigh one thing (against another)," thus, "to counterbalance," from com- "with" (see com-) + pensare, frequentative of pendere "to weigh" (see pendant). Meaning "to recompense, remunerate" is from 1814. Related: Compensated; compensating.