Say you loan a few bucks to a friend who is short on cash, and he wins the lottery. Presumably, he'll be able to recompense you, or pay you back what he owes.

If you look closely at recompense, you'll see how similar it is to compensate, which means to make amends for something or to pay. Add the prefix re-, which suggests returning or repeating, and you get the meaning of recompense — paying back or reimbursing financially or otherwise. Recompense is most often used as a verb, but it works as a noun, too. In recompense for throwing peas and screaming, a mother might send a toddler to her room for a time-out.

Definitions of recompense
  1. verb
    make payment to; compensate
    synonyms: compensate, remunerate
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    recoup, reimburse
    reimburse or compensate (someone), as for a loss
    type of:
    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services
  2. verb
    make amends for; pay compensation for
    synonyms: compensate, indemnify, repair
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    deliver in exchange or recompense
    type of:
    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services
  3. noun
    payment or reward (as for service rendered)
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    adjustment, allowance
    an amount added or deducted on the basis of qualifying circumstances
    something (such as money) given or received as payment or reparation (as for a service or loss or injury)
    cost-of-living allowance
    an allowance for changes in the consumer price index
    depreciation allowance
    an allowance for loss due to depreciation
    deduction, discount
    an amount or percentage deducted
    seasonal adjustment
    a statistical adjustment made to accommodate predictable fluctuations as a function of the season of the year
    an adjustment made for the weight of the packaging in order to determine the net weight of the goods
    excessive compensation
    workmen's compensation
    compensation for death or injury suffered by a worker in the course of his employment
    compensation paid (to someone) for damages or losses or money already spent etc.
    compensation received by virtue of holding an office or having employment (usually in the form of wages or fees)
    blood money
    compensation paid to the family of a murdered person
    amends, damages, indemnification, indemnity, redress, restitution
    a sum of money paid in compensation for loss or injury
    counterbalance, offset
    a compensating equivalent
    (usually plural) compensation exacted from a defeated nation by the victors
    compensation (given or received) for an insult or injury
    type of:
    a sum of money paid or a claim discharged
  4. noun
    the act of compensating for service or loss or injury
    synonyms: compensation
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    an act of compensation for actual loss or damage or for trouble and annoyance
    type of:
    correction, rectification
    the act of offering an improvement to replace a mistake; setting right
Word Family

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