Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act of compensating or the state of being compensated.
  • noun Something, such as money, given or received as payment or reparation, as for a service or loss.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Psychology Behavior that develops either consciously or unconsciously to offset a real or imagined deficiency, as in personality or physical ability.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of compensating; counterbalance: as, nature is based on a system of compensations.
  • noun That which is given or received as an equivalent, as for services, debt, want, loss, or suffering; indemnity; recompense; amends; requital.
  • noun That which supplies the place of something else, or makes good a deficiency, or makes amends: as, the speed of the hare is a compensation for its want of any weapon of defense.
  • noun In mech., means of creating a balance of forces; counteraction of opposing tendencies; adjustment for equilibrium.
  • noun In the civil law, the extinguishment of a debt by a counter-claim which the debtor has against his creditor, thus effecting the simultaneous extinguishment of two obligations, or of one and part of another.
  • noun In pathology, an increase in functional power of some organ or part of an organ to make up for a defect in another organ or in another part of the same organ.
  • noun In psychophysics, the neutralization of a sensation by a stimulus process of a complementary or antagonistic kind.
  • noun In vegetable teratol., the occurrence of opposite abnormal conditions in different parts of the same plant, as an atrophied condition of one part associated with a hypertrophied condition of another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act or principle of compensating.
  • noun That which constitutes, or is regarded as, an equivalent; that which makes good the lack or variation of something else; that which compensates for loss or privation; amends; remuneration; recompense.
  • noun The extinction of debts of which two persons are reciprocally debtors by the credits of which they are reciprocally creditors; the payment of a debt by a credit of equal amount; a set-off.
  • noun A recompense or reward for some loss or service.
  • noun An equivalent stipulated for in contracts for the sale of real estate, in which it is customary to provide that errors in description, etc., shall not avoid, but shall be the subject of compensation.
  • noun a kind of balance wheel for a timepiece. The rim is usually made of two different metals having different expansibility under changes of temperature, so arranged as to counteract each other and preserve uniformity of movement.
  • noun See Pendulum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act or principle of compensating.
  • noun That which constitutes, or is regarded as, an equivalent; that which makes good the lack or variation of something else; that which compensates for loss or privation; amends; remuneration; recompense.
  • noun The extinction of debts of which two persons are reciprocally debtors by the credits of which they are reciprocally creditors; the payment of a debt by a credit of equal amount; a set-off.
  • noun A recompense or reward for some loss or service.
  • noun An equivalent stipulated for in contracts for the sale of real estate, in which it is customary to provide that errors in description, etc., shall not avoid, but shall be the subject of compensation.
  • noun The relationship between air temperature outside a building and a calculated target temperature for provision of air or water to contained rooms or spaces for the purpose of efficient heating. In building control systems the compensation curve is defined to a compensator for this purpose.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun something (such as money) given or received as payment or reparation (as for a service or loss or injury)
  • noun (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that conceals your undesirable shortcomings by exaggerating desirable behaviors
  • noun the act of compensating for service or loss or injury

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

compensate +‎ -ion

Examples

Comments

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  • "Now this legislation moves to the Senate, and I look forward to receiving a final product that will serve as a strong signal to the executives who run these firms that such compensation will not be tolerated," Mr Obama said.

    Use of this word to mean "pay (to bloated, thieving, port-faced capitalists)" makes me shake with fury. However, it goes back a couple of hundred years in US usage so is not a modern euphemism.

    March 20, 2009