from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To award compensation to: recompensed the victims of the accident.
  • transitive v. To award compensation for; make a return for: recompensed their injuries.
  • n. Amends made, as for damage or loss.
  • n. Payment in return for something, such as a service.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. That which compensates for an injury.
  • v. To reward or repay (someone) for something done, given etc.
  • v. To give compensation for an injury.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An equivalent returned for anything done, suffered, or given; compensation; requital; suitable return.
  • intransitive v. To give recompense; to make amends or requital.
  • transitive v. To render an equivalent to, for service, loss, etc.; to requite; to remunerate; to compensate.
  • transitive v. To return an equivalent for; to give compensation for; to atone for; to pay for.
  • transitive v. To give in return; to pay back; to pay, as something earned or deserved.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a return to; give or render an equivalent to, as for services or loss; compensate: with a person as object.
  • To return an equivalent for; pay for; reward; requite.
  • To pay or give as an equivalent; pay back.
  • To make amends for by some equivalent; make compensation for; pay some forfeit for.
  • To serve as an equivalent or recompense for.
  • Synonyms and Remunerate, Reimburse, etc. (see indemnify), repay.
  • To make amends or return.
  • n. An equivalent returned for anything given, done, or suffered; compensation; reward; amends; requital.

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

  • v. make payment to; compensate
  • v. make amends for; pay compensation for
  • n. payment or reward (as for service rendered)
  • n. the act of compensating for service or loss or injury


Middle English recompensen, from Old French recompenser, from Late Latin recompēnsāre : Latin re-, re- + Latin compēnsāre, to compensate; see compensate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, from Old French recompense, from Late Latin recompensare, from Latin re- ("again") + compensare ("to balance out") (Wiktionary)



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  • Small disappointments revive the child in us, which would be an equal recompense if we could but see it so.
    Nick Piombino , fait accompli

    January 9, 2007