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

v make payment to; compensate

compensate, remunerate
recoup, reimburse
reimburse or compensate (someone), as for a loss
Type of:
give money, usually in exchange for goods or services

v make amends for; pay compensation for

compensate, indemnify, repair
deliver in exchange or recompense
Type of:
give money, usually in exchange for goods or services

n 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

n the act of compensating for service or loss or injury

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

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