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Borrowed from Latin compensatus, past participle of compensare (“to weight together one thing against another, balance, make good, later also shorten, spare”), from com- (“together”) + pensare (“to weight”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkɒm.pən.seɪt/, /ˈkɒm.pɛn.seɪt/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɑm.pənˌseɪt/
Audio (US) (file)
- (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˈkɔm.penˌsæɪt/
- Rhymes: -eɪt, -æɪt
compensate (third-person singular simple present compensates, present participle compensating, simple past and past participle compensated)
- To do (something good) after (something bad) happens
- To pay or reward someone in exchange for work done or some other consideration.
- It is hard work, but they will compensate you well for it.
- (transitive, intransitive) To make up for; to do something in place of something else; to correct, satisfy; to reach an agreement such that the scales are literally or (metaphorically) balanced; to equalize or make even.
- His loud voice cannot compensate for a lack of personality.
- To compensate me for his tree landing on my shed, my neighbor paved my driveway.
- 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. […], 3rd edition, London: […] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee […], →OCLC:
- The length of the night and the dews thereof do compensate the heat of the day.
- 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem in Three Books.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: […] Jacob Tonson […], and John Barber […], →OCLC, (please specify the page):, Preface
- The pleasures of life do not compensate the miseries.
- To adjust or adapt to a change, often a harm or deprivation.
- I don't like driving that old car because it always steers a little to the left so I'm forever compensating for that when I drive it. Trust me, it gets annoying real fast.
- To compensate for his broken leg, Gary uses crutches.
Conjugation of compensate
|present tense||past tense|
|2nd-person singular||compensate, compensatest†||compensated, compensatedst†|
|3rd-person singular||compensates, compensateth†||compensated|
- (to do something good): See Thesaurus:compensate
- (to pay): guerdon, reimburse; see also Thesaurus:reimburse
- (to make up for): See Thesaurus:atone or Thesaurus:offset
- (to adjust to a change): acclimatize, acclimate, accommodate, accustom, adapt; see also Thesaurus:accustom
to do (something good) after (something bad) happens
to balance the scales, to equalize, to reach equilibrium
to pay or reward someone in exchange for work done or some other consideration
to make up for; to do something in place of something else; to correct or fill
to adjust or adapt to a change, often a harm or deprivation
- “compensate”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “compensate”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- inflection of compensare:
compensate f pl
- second-person singular voseo imperative of compensar combined with te
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