A compromise is a way of settling differences by everybody making concessions. If you want to stay out until 10 and your friend wants to stay out until midnight, 11 is a good compromise.

Compromise comes from the Latin compromissum, which means "mutual promise." It can be a noun or a verb. If you compromise with your lab partner over how to analyze the experimental data, you find the middle ground between your two ideas. Compromise can also mean to erode or diminish. If you never repair your brakes, you will compromise the safety of the car. If you cheat, you compromise your integrity.

Definitions of compromise
  1. noun
    an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
    “the newly elected congressmen rejected a compromise because they considered it `business as usual'”
    see moresee less
    Missouri Compromise
    an agreement in 1820 between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States concerning the extension of slavery into new territories
    type of:
    a settlement of differences
  2. noun
    a middle way between two extremes
    synonyms: via media
    see moresee less
    type of:
    joint operation or action
  3. verb
    make a compromise; arrive at a compromise
    “we all must compromise
    see moresee less
    give and take
    make mutual concessions
    type of:
    achieve harmony of opinion, feeling, or purpose
  4. verb
    settle by concession
    see moresee less
    type of:
    determine, settle, square off, square up
    settle conclusively; come to terms
  5. verb
    expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute
    “The nuclear secrets of the state were compromised by the spy”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    endanger, expose, peril, queer, scupper
    put in a dangerous, disadvantageous, or difficult position
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week