v. com·pen·sat·ed, com·pen·sat·ing, com·pen·sates
1. To offset; counterbalance.
2. To make satisfactory payment or reparation to; recompense or reimburse: Management compensated us for the time we worked.
3. To stabilize the purchasing power of (a monetary unit) by changing the gold content in order to counterbalance price variations.
To serve as or provide a substitute or counterbalance.
[Latin compēnsāre, compēnsāt- : com-, com- + pēnsāre, to weigh; see (s)pen- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
compen·sa′tive (kŏmpən-sā′tĭv, kəm-pĕnsə-tĭv) adj.
com·pensa·to′ry (kəm-pĕnsə-tôr′ē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.