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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
  • That is how you recompense me for the really paternal care that I lavish on you!

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

    The School System of Norway David Allen Anderson
  • Our experts will evaluate such holdings and recompense the owners.

    Medal of Honor Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • 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
  • You've had your troubles, but you're not without a recompense.

  • But if anything remained unfinished on the first day of summer, he should forfeit the recompense agreed on.

  • This is not the only department of training in which the recompense has been abundant.

    George Muller of Bristol Arthur T. Pierson
  • Were they better treated, and did they receive any recompense?

    Les Parsis D. Menant
  • I will not accept any recompense; but pray don't take offense.

    The Lost Child Franois Edouard Joachim Coppe
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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