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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
Historical Examples
  • Charles had disturbed the equilibrium of her heart by his warmth, and had not restored it again by a word of recompense.

    Titan: A Romance v. 1 (of 2) Jean Paul Friedrich Richter
  • But beyond his emoluments as a partner in the invention, Alfred Vail had no recompense.

  • These provisions materially reduce living expenses, and, in a way, recompense for the low salaries received.

    The School System of Norway David Allen Anderson
  • And to myself I thought of what recompense already had been mine.

    The Suitors of Yvonne Raphael Sabatini
  • He dwelleth not at the court of the king, neither does he receive aught in recompense for the good that he doeth.

    The Little Maid of Israel Emma Howard Wight
  • It has passed out of history, and its victims to their rest and recompense.

    Against Odds Lawrence L. Lynch
  • But if anything remained unfinished on the first day of summer, he should forfeit the recompense agreed on.

  • There is no sentiment of gratitude, or recompense, or reward in the gift.

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • Were they better treated, and did they receive any recompense?

    Les Parsis D. Menant
  • Lao taught the golden rule: "recompense injury," he said, "with kindness."

    History of Religion Allan Menzies
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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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