AskDefine | Define compromise

Dictionary Definition



1 a middle way between two extremes [syn: via media]
2 an accommodation in which both sides make concessions; "the newly elected congressmen rejected a compromise because they considered it `business as usual'"


1 make a compromise; arrive at a compromise; "nobody will get everything he wants; we all must compromise"
2 settle by concession
3 expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute; "The nuclear secrets of the state were compromised by the spy"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK) /ˈkɒmpɹəˌmaɪz/, /"kQmpr@%maIz/
  • (US) /ˈkɑmpɹəˌmaɪz/, /"kAmpr@%maIz/


From compromis.


  1. settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions


settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions


  1. to bind by mutual agreement
  2. to find a way between extremes
  3. to cause impairment of
  4. to breach a security system
He tried to compromise the security in the computer by guessing the password.


to bind by mutual agreement
to find a way between extremes
to cause impairment of
to breach a security system

Derived terms




Extensive Definition

In arguments, compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication, through a mutual acceptance of terms—often involving variations from an original goal or desire. Extremism is often considered as antonym to compromise, which, depending on context, may be associated with concepts of balance, tolerance. In the negative connotation, compromise may be referred to as capitulation, referring to a "surrender" of objectives, principles, or materiale, in the process of negotiating an agreement. In human relationships "compromise" is often said to be an agreement that no party is happy with. According cultural background and influences, the meaning and perception of the word "compromise" may be different: In the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth countries the word "compromise" has a positive meaning (as a consent, an agreement where both parties win something); in the USA it may rather have negative connotations (as both parties lose something). In the former Soviet Union, the word was rather unknown. (See Intercultural competence.)

Studies in compromise

Defining and finding the best possible compromise is an important problem in fields like game theory and the voting system. For example, the Modified Borda Count seeks to identify which of several options has the highest average preference among voters.
Research has indicated that suboptimal compromises are often the result of fallacies such as the fixed sum error and the incompatibility error, leading to the misperception that the other side's interests are directly opposed. Mutually better outcomes can be found by careful investigation of both parties' interests.
compromise in Czech: Kompromis
compromise in Danish: Kompromis
compromise in German: Kompromiss
compromise in Modern Greek (1453-): Συμβιβασμός
compromise in Estonian: Kompromiss
compromise in French: Compromis
compromise in Hebrew: פשרה
compromise in Italian: Compromesso
compromise in Hungarian: Kompromisszum
compromise in Dutch: Compromis
compromise in Norwegian: Kompromiss
compromise in Polish: Kompromis
compromise in Portuguese: Compromisso
compromise in Slovak: Kompromis
compromise in Serbian: Компромис
compromise in Serbo-Croatian: Kompromis
compromise in Swedish: Kompromiss

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Eisenhower Doctrine, Monroe Doctrine, Nixon Doctrine, Truman Doctrine, accommodate, accommodation, adjust, adjustment, agreement, amends, appeasement, arrange matters, arrangement, atonement, balance of power, bargain, blast, blight, bring to terms, bring together, brinkmanship, center, coexistence, colonialism, compact, compensation, compose, composition, composition of differences, compound, containment, contract, cool, cop out, detente, deterrence, diplomacy, diplomatic, diplomatics, dollar diplomacy, dollar imperialism, duck responsibility, encounter danger, endanger, evade responsibility, expansionism, expiation, expiatory offering, expose, fence, fix up, foreign affairs, foreign policy, gamble, gamble with, give and take, give way, go fifty-fifty, golden mean, good-neighbor policy, half measures, half-and-half measures, halfway measures, happy medium, harmonize, hazard, heal the breach, imperialism, imperil, incur danger, indemnification, indemnity, internationalism, isolationism, jeopard, jeopardize, jeopardy, lay open, make a deal, make an adjustment, make concessions, making amends, making good, making right, making up, manifest destiny, mar, mean, mediate, medium, meet halfway, menace, middle course, middle ground, middle way, militarism, moderateness, moderation, nationalism, neocolonialism, neutral ground, neutralism, nonresistance, open door, open-door policy, pact, patch things up, peace offensive, peace offering, peaceful coexistence, peril, piaculum, play havoc with, play politics, preparedness, propitiation, put in danger, put in jeopardy, put in tune, queer, quittance, reach a compromise, reclamation, recompense, reconcile, redemption, redress, reparation, resolution, resolve, restitution, restore harmony, reunite, risk, ruin, satisfaction, settle, settle differences, settlement, shirt-sleeve diplomacy, shuttle diplomacy, smooth it over, spheres of influence, split the difference, spoil, squaring, strike a balance, strike a bargain, surrender, take the mean, terms, the big stick, tough policy, understanding, via media, weave peace between, world politics, yield
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