from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.
  • n. The result of such a settlement.
  • n. Something that combines qualities or elements of different things: The incongruous design is a compromise between high tech and early American.
  • n. A concession to something detrimental or pejorative: a compromise of morality.
  • intransitive v. To arrive at a settlement by making concessions.
  • intransitive v. To reduce the quality, value, or degree of something.
  • transitive v. To expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute: a secret mission that was compromised and had to be abandoned; compromise one's standing in the community.
  • transitive v. To reduce in quality, value, or degree; weaken or lower.
  • transitive v. To impair by disease or injury: an immune system that was compromised by a virus.
  • transitive v. To settle by mutual concessions: a dispute that was compromised.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions.
  • n. A committal to something derogatory or objectionable; a prejudicial concession; a surrender; as, a compromise of character or right.
  • v. To bind by mutual agreement.
  • v. To find a way between extremes.
  • v. To cause impairment of.
  • v. To breach a security system.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mutual agreement to refer matters in dispute to the decision of arbitrators.
  • n. A settlement by arbitration or by mutual consent reached by concession on both sides; a reciprocal abatement of extreme demands or rights, resulting in an agreement.
  • n. A committal to something derogatory or objectionable; a prejudicial concession; a surrender.
  • intransitive v. To agree; to accord.
  • intransitive v. To make concession for conciliation and peace.
  • transitive v. To bind by mutual agreement; to agree.
  • transitive v. To adjust and settle by mutual concessions; to compound.
  • transitive v. To pledge by some act or declaration; to endanger the life, reputation, etc., of, by some act which can not be recalled; to expose to suspicion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To adjust or compound by a compromise; settle or reconcile by mutual concessions.
  • To bind by bargain or agreement; mutually pledge.
  • To expose to risk or hazard, or to serious consequences, as of suspicion or scandal, by some act or declaration; prejudice; endanger the reputation or the interests of: often used reflexively: as, he compromised himself by his rash statements.
  • To make a compromise; agree by concession; come to terms.
  • n. In civil law, a mutual promise or contract of two parties in controversy to refer their differences to the decision of arbitrators.
  • n. A settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement or compact adopted as the means of superseding an undetermined controversy; a bargain or arrangement involving mutual concessions; figuratively, a combination of two rival systems, principles, etc., in which a part of each is sacrificed to make the combination possible.
  • n. That which results from, or is founded on, such an agreement or settlement, as a specific arrangement, a course of conduct, or an institution; a medium between two rival courses, plans, etc.: as, his conduct was a compromise between his pride and his poverty.
  • n. A thing partaking of and blending the qualities, forms, or uses of two other and different things: as, a mule is a compromise between a horse and an ass; a sofa is a compromise between a chair and a bed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. settle by concession
  • v. expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute
  • n. an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
  • n. a middle way between two extremes
  • v. make a compromise; arrive at a compromise


Middle English compromis, from Old French, from Latin comprōmissum, mutual promise, from neuter past participle of comprōmittere, to promise mutually : com-, com- + prōmittere, to promise; see promise.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French compromis, from Medieval Latin, Late Latin compromissum ("a compromise, originally a mutual promise to refer to arbitration"), prop. neuter of Latin compromissus, past participle of compromittere ("to make a mutual promise to abide by the decision of an arbiter"), from com- ("together") + promittere ("to promise"); see promise. (Wiktionary)



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  • "Apartment compromises of one double bedroom with single bed and en-suite shower room and one double bedroom plus a main bathroom."
    - advertisement for hotel in Manchester, cited 29 Nov 2008.

    Don't meet your mystery lover at this hotel. You could be caught in a comprising situation.

    November 29, 2008

  • compromise: to endanger
    comprometer: to commit.

    May 26, 2008