verb (used with object), com·pro·mised, com·pro·mis·ing.

verb (used without object), com·pro·mised, com·pro·mis·ing.

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

1400–50; late Middle English < Anglo-French compromisse, Middle French compromis < Latin comprōmissum. See com-, promise
Related formscom·pro·mis·er, nouncom·pro·mis·ing·ly, adverbcom·prom·is·sa·ry [kom-prom-uh-ser-ee] /kɒmˈprɒm əˌsɛr i/, adjectivenon·com·pro·mis·ing, adjectivepro·com·pro·mise, adjectivequa·si-com·pro·mis·ing, adjectivequa·si-com·pro·mis·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for compromise

Contemporary Examples of compromise

Historical Examples of compromise

  • And these will be our first priorities, and on these principles, there will be no compromise.

  • The shifty, ungenerous spirit of compromise awoke in Raymount.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • He was trying to solve his problem and Tillie's, and what he had found was no solution, but a compromise.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • When she found him determined, she made the compromise that her condition necessitated.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • So Jason with much ado was brought to agree to a compromise.

British Dictionary definitions for compromise



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
(tr) to expose (a person or persons) to disrepute
(tr) to prejudice unfavourably; weakenhis behaviour compromised his chances
(tr) obsolete to pledge mutually
Derived Formscompromiser, nouncompromisingly, adverb

Word Origin for compromise

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

Word Origin and History for compromise

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