1. The act of compensating or the state of being compensated.
2. Something, such as money, given or received as payment or reparation, as for a service or loss.
3. Biology The increase in size or activity of one part of an organism or organ that makes up for the loss or dysfunction of another.
4. Psychology The act of consciously or unconsciously changing one's behavior to offset a real or imagined deficiency, as in personality or physical ability.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.