[ kom-puhn-sey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for compensation on
  1. the act or state of compensating, as by rewarding someone for service or by making up for someone's loss, damage, or injury by giving the injured party an appropriate benefit.

  2. the state of being compensated or rewarded in this way.

  1. something given or received as an equivalent for services, debt, loss, injury, suffering, lack, etc.; indemnity: The insurance company paid him $2000 as compensation for the loss of his car.

  2. Biology. the improvement of any defect by the excessive development or action of another structure or organ of the same structure.

  3. Psychology. a mechanism by which an individual attempts to make up for some real or imagined deficiency of personality or behavior by developing or stressing another aspect of the personality or by substituting a different form of behavior.

Origin of compensation

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English compensacioun, from Latin compēnsātiōn-, stem of compēnsātiō “a balancing”; equivalent to compensate + -ion

Other words for compensation

Other words from compensation

  • com·pen·sa·tion·al, adjective
  • non·com·pen·sa·tion, noun
  • pre·com·pen·sa·tion, noun
  • pro·com·pen·sa·tion, adjective
  • sub·com·pen·sa·tion, noun
  • sub·com·pen·sa·tion·al, adjective

Words Nearby compensation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use compensation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for compensation


/ (ˌkɒmpɛnˈseɪʃən) /

  1. the act or process of making amends for something

  2. something given as reparation for loss, injury, etc; indemnity

  1. the automatic movements made by the body to maintain balance

  2. the attempt to conceal or offset one's shortcomings by the exaggerated exhibition of qualities regarded as desirable

  3. biology abnormal growth and increase in size in one organ in response to the removal or inactivation of another

Derived forms of compensation

  • compensational, adjective

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