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compensate

[kom-puh n-seyt] /ˈkɒm pənˌseɪt/
verb (used with object), compensated, compensating.
1.
to recompense for something:
They gave him ten dollars to compensate him for his trouble.
2.
to counterbalance; offset; be equivalent to:
He compensated his homely appearance with great personal charm.
3.
Mechanics. to counterbalance (a force or the like); adjust or construct so as to offset or counterbalance variations or produce equilibrium.
4.
to change the gold content of (a monetary unit) to counterbalance price fluctuations and thereby stabilize its purchasing power.
verb (used without object), compensated, compensating.
5.
to provide or be an equivalent; make up; make amends (usually followed by for):
His occasional courtesies did not compensate for his general rudeness.
6.
Psychology. to develop or employ mechanisms of compensation.
Origin of compensate
1640-1650
1640-50; < Latin compēnsātus (past participle of compēnsāre to counterbalance, orig., to weigh together). See com-, pensive, -ate1
Related forms
compensatingly, adverb
compensator, noun
noncompensated, adjective
noncompensating, adjective
precompensate, verb (used with object), precompensated, precompensating.
recompensate, verb (used with object), recompensated, recompensating.
subcompensate, verb (used with object), subcompensated, subcompensating.
uncompensated, adjective
uncompensating, adjective
well-compensated, adjective
Synonyms
1. remunerate, reward, pay. 2. counterpoise, countervail. 5. atone.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for compensate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No beautiful moral speculations were then to compensate the poverty of intellectual science.

  • There is nothing in life that can compensate for long partings.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • Of course you don't like Franklin's discharge, and of course you have done something to compensate him.

    What Answer? Anna E. Dickinson
  • It was hoped they might, and that the difference would not compensate for the risk in smuggling.

    Tea Leaves Various
  • Liberal morphia we had to give to compensate for nursing defects.

    Sketches of the East Africa Campaign Robert Valentine Dolbey
British Dictionary definitions for compensate

compensate

/ˈkɒmpɛnˌseɪt/
verb
1.
to make amends to (someone), esp for loss or injury
2.
(transitive) to serve as compensation or damages for (injury, loss, etc)
3.
to offset or counterbalance the effects of (a force, weight, movement, etc) so as to nullify the effects of an undesirable influence and produce equilibrium
4.
(intransitive) to attempt to conceal or offset one's shortcomings by the exaggerated exhibition of qualities regarded as desirable
Derived Forms
compensatory (ˈkɒmpɛnˌseɪtərɪ; kəmˈpɛnsətərɪ; -trɪ), compensative (ˈkɒmpɛnˌseɪtɪv; kəmˈpɛnsə-) adjective
compensator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin compēnsāre, from pensāre, from pendere to weigh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for compensate
v.

1640s, "to be equivalent;" 1650s, "to counterbalance, make up for," from Latin compensatus, past participle of compensare "to weigh one thing (against another)," thus, "to counterbalance," from com- "with" (see com-) + pensare, frequentative of pendere "to weigh" (see pendant). Meaning "to recompense, remunerate" is from 1814. Related: Compensated; compensating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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