a. A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.
b. The result of such a settlement.
2. Something that combines qualities or elements of different things: The incongruous design is a compromise between high tech and early American.
3. A weakening or reduction of one's principles or standards: a compromise of morality.
4. Impairment, as by disease or injury: physiological compromise.
v. com·pro·mised, com·pro·mis·ing, com·pro·mis·es
1. To arrive at a settlement by making concessions.
2. To reduce the quality, value, or degree of something, such as one's ideals.
a. To expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute: a secret mission that was compromised and had to be abandoned.
b. To reduce in quality, value, or degree; weaken or lower: Don't compromise your standards.
2. To impair, as by disease or injury: an immune system that was compromised by a virus.
3. To settle by mutual concessions: a dispute that was compromised.
[Middle English compromis, from Old French, from Latin comprōmissum, mutual promise, from neuter past participle of comprōmittere, to promise mutually : com-, com- + prōmittere, to promise; see PROMISE.]
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.