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[rek-uh m-pens] /ˈrɛk əmˌpɛns/
verb (used with object), recompensed, recompensing.
to repay; remunerate; reward, as for service, aid, etc.
to pay or give compensation for; make restitution or requital for (damage, injury, or the like).
verb (used without object), recompensed, recompensing.
to make compensation for something; repay someone:
no attempt to recompense for our trouble.
compensation, as for an injury, wrong, etc.:
to make recompense for the loss one's carelessness has caused.
a repayment or requital, as for favors, gifts, etc.
a remuneration or reward, as for services, aid, or the like.
Origin of recompense
late Middle English
1375-1425; (v.) late Middle English < Middle French recompenser < Late Latin recompēnsāre, equivalent to Latin re- re- + compēnsāre (see compensate); (noun) late Middle English < Middle French, derivative of recompenser
Related forms
recompensable, adjective
recompenser, noun
underrecompense, verb (used with object), underrecompensed, underrecompensing, noun
unrecompensable, adjective
unrecompensed, adjective
1. reimburse, recoup. 4. payment, amends, indemnification, satisfaction. 4–6. See reward. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for recompense
  • They would accept hardships in recompense for having been selfish and lazy.
  • But the lack of a sharp upturn means such partial recompense has not been forthcoming this time round.
  • If she has her own site it could effectively be taken down without notice or recompense.
  • Financial recompense may offset the reluctance of some members to serve as directors.
  • The degree to which the penalty will recompense or further harm the injured shareholders.
  • Leaders must ensure that personnel receive appropriate recompense for ethical behavior.
British Dictionary definitions for recompense


(transitive) to pay or reward for service, work, etc
(transitive) to compensate for loss, injury, etc
compensation for loss, injury, etc: to make recompense
reward, remuneration, or repayment
Derived Forms
recompensable, adjective
recompenser, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French recompenser, from Latin re- + compensāre to balance in weighing; see compensate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for recompense

early 15c., from Middle French recompense (13c.), related to recompenser "make good, recompense" from Late Latin recompensare (see recompense (v.)).


c.1400, "to redress," from Middle French recompenser (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin recompensare "to reward, remunerate," from Latin re- "again" (see re-) + compensare "balance out," literally "weigh together" (see compensate). From early 15c. as "to compensate." Related: Recompensed; recompensing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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